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Voyage from England to the Brazils, the Cape 
gjT Good Hope, Java, and the Gulf of Pe- 

1 HE British Government, on the repre- 
sentation of the Court of Directors of the 
East-India Company, respecting the trade 
with China, decided, with the view of re- 
lieving that branch of its commerce from 
the increasing vexatious impositions of the 
local authorities of Canton, on the mea- 
sure of sending an embassy to the court of 
Pekin. As on a former occasion of a si- 
milar kind, a distinguished nobleman had 
been selected to fill the situation of Em- 
bassador Extraordinary from the King of 




• -7 

1^ / ' J?K p- 

• s 


Lyra and Hewitt were directed to make the 
best of their way to the Cape of Good 
Hope, whilst the Alceste proceeded to the 
capital of the Brazils, where she arrived on 
the 21st of that month. 

All the bold, as well as beautiful, features 
of nature, have conjoined to enrich tlic 
scenery of Rio Janeiro. The luxuriant de- 
scriptions of former travellers are by no 
means exaggerated, for it would indeed be 
difficult to exceed the truth in portraying the 
sublimity and grandeur of such a scene as 
presents itself on entering the harbour. 
The numerous islets appearing on this ex- 
tensive sheet of water, — its richly-wooded 
banks, rising like an amphitheatre on either 
hand, studded with villages and country 
seats, — added to the distant view of lofty and 
picturesque mountains, — form, altogether, 
a very unusual and noble landscape. 

The death of the queen, which hap- 
pened the day previous to our arrival, at 
the good old age of eighty-two, had rather 
cast a gloom over the city of St. Sebastian. 
The batteries and ships fired five-minute 
guns during the whole day and night ; the 


Alceste, Indefatigable, (Capt. Fyffe) and a 
Spanish frigate, following this example : 
displaying also the usual exterior marks of 
grief, by hoisting the colours half-staff liigh, 
and topping the yards. Our officers like- 
wise wore crape; and, from a positive 
order being issued to all the inhabitants 
to go into mourning, (which none dared, 
under the severest penalties, disobey), the 
prices of all black articles felt a sudden and 
enormous increase. 

The government of the Brazils seems 
perfectly despotic ; and it is painful to ob- 
serve even Englishmen lose the natural 
freedom of their character under such do- 
minion. Some, who from long residence 
had imbibed the feelings of the Portuguese, 
would, in answering any question relative 
to public affairs, look cautiously around, 
to see who was near them, and then whisper 
their reply. 

The barbarous system, however, which 
formerly imposed the most annoying re- 
strictions on strangers, and prevented their 
landing, unless guarded hke felons, has 
been happily overturned by the circum- 
stances attending the arrival of Sir Sidney 



Smith with a British squadron^ who conld 
not be expected to submit to this kind of 
treatment ; and, consequently, a more ra- 
tional and liberal state of affairs in this 
respect, has been gradually brought 

The prince (now the king) during the 
period her majesty lay in state, was shut 
up, according to their usage, not to be seen 
by any but his chamberlain. 

Swarms of priests occupied every avenue 
to the palace, and hung in clusters on the 
staircases. St. Sebastian seems to be a 
soil in which these members of the autos 
da fS still thrive well. 

With them the monastic discipline seems 
to be far less austere, than that which is ex- 
ercised over the poor nuns of the convent 
of Santa Teresa, who are said to be so de- 
tached from all former friends and con- 
nexions in this world, that even the death 
of a father or a mother is not communicated 
by name ; it being merely notified on such 
an occasion that a parent of one of them is 
this day dead^ and they are called upon col- 
lectively to pray for the soul of the unknown 


The Brazils have lately been raised from 
the state of a mere colony to the dignity of 
a kingdom; and the residence of the court 
has conferred still more substantial advan-* 
tages on it, arising from the emigration of 
the chief nobility from Portugal, and the 
transfer of their wealth to this country. Its 
commerce has of late years increased to a 
great degree, chiefly, however, under the 
direction of English houses. 

The return of the court to the mother 
country, it is thought, would be the signal 
for revolt ; for it is not probable the Brazils 
would long remain in their present fettered 
state, whilst colonies in all directions around 
them are freeing themselves from the op- 
pression of the mother country. 

The want of the usual public attention of 
saluting the flag of a foreign power might 
have been accounted for under the present 
circumstances of the court ; but it was sin- 
gular (considering, more particularly, our 
late relations with Portugal) that a house for 
the accommodation of the Embassador and 
suite, during their short stay, and which 
had been granted to the former embassy. 


should have been refused in the present 
instance. The hospitaUty, however, of 
Mr. Chamberlayne, the British minister 
here, amply supplied this deficiency. The 
places of public amusement were of course 
shut; and the only spectacle^ during our 
stay, was the funeral of the queen, which 
took place by torch-light ; all the military 
that could be collected, both horse and 
foot, lining the streets (which were illumi- 
nated) from the palace to the convent of 
Ajuda. The hearse and state-coaches were 
drawn up at the grand entrance, covered 
with black cloth, and near them the chief 
mourners, who were eight of the nobles, on 
horseback. Their dress was the ancient Por- 
tuguese costume of mourning. Each had 
a large broad-brimmed hat, rather slouch- 
ing down upon the shoulders; a long black 
cloak, or robe, with the star of some order 
affixed to it ; conveying to the mind of an 
English spectator the whimsical combina- 
tion of a coal-heaver, a priest, and a knight. 
The king, accompanied by the two elder 
princes, attended the coffin to the principal 
porch, and saw it deposited in the hearse, 









when the whole cavalcade drove off, and 
the body was interred in the convent, with 
the usual religious ceremonies. The royal 
family next day appeared at the balconies 
of the palace ; on such occasions it is usual 
for the Portuguese to stand uncovered in 
the square opposite; and, if any of the 
royal carriages are met on the road, the 
passengers on horseback must dismount, 
and even kneel. 

Neither of their Portuguese majesties can 
themselves be considered as regular beauties; 
but the princesses are good figures, and cer- 
tainly, upon the whole, handsome women. 
Don Pedro, their eldest son, promises to be 
a man of some spirit. Much indolence 
seems to exist among the inhabitants, and 
they are said still to possess their charac- 
teristic contempt of all reading ; so that a 
publisher of books in the Brazils would 
probably earn but a lean livelihood. This 
country produces all the various fruits of the 
warmer climates ; such as pine-apples, 
oranges, limes, mangoes, guavas, melons, 
bananas, ^c. ; the tea-shrub continues 
to be an article of growth, under the 

■ »• 



direction of some Chinese accustomed to 
manage it ; and it is to be hoped they may 
succeed in extending and improving its 
cultivation. The slave-trade still exists to 
its fullest extent ; and this class of the po- 
pulation, however useful they may be, are 
certainly not ornamental ; being the ugliest 
race of negroes that can be collected from 
the African coast — Gaboons, Congos, and 
Angolas. The circumstance of our West- 
India islands having been generally supplied 
with Fantees, from the Gold Coast, with 
Eyeos, and Ashan tees, who are a much finer- 
looking people, added^ perhaps, to their im- 
proved condition, their better clothing, and 
general treatment, gives a slave of Jamaica a 
far less degraded appearance than one in 
this country. Yet, though the situation of 
the former is much ameliorated (and un- 
doubtedly superior to his native state in 
Africa), it is unfortunate that the first Eu- 
ropean settlers of colonies, had not, instead 
of hunting down and oppressing the na- 
tives, trained them to habits of industry ; 
when the term slavery, so revolting to hu- 
manity even under the most favourable 


Tcumstances, so contrary to reason and 
ural right, need never have been known. 
Ult East-India possessions, and late occu- 
ion of Java, sufficiently demonstrate the 
E^xacticability of this system. 
^ They do Buonaparte, here, the honour of 
Ib^eing very much afraid of him ; and keep a 
^t>Tight eye to windward, lest he should break 
«idrift from St. Helena, and come down 
^pori them before the wind. This silly ap- 
pearance of fear is something like the 
"weakness of ordering his name never 
to be mentioned, than which, perhaps, 
nothing tends more to keep up his conse- 

This part of the Brazils is naturally hot 
during the months of December, January, 
and February ; but (more especially as the 
southern are found to be comparatively 
colder than corresponding northern lati- 
tudes), it enjoys, during our summer, a sort 
of tropical winter, and is not considered 
an unhealthy climate. 

The town of St. Sebastian, without any 
public edifice worthy of notice, is regularly 
built, and, from the late influx of inha- 


bitants, is daily extending its limits ; but its 
police is bad, and the streets are filthy. Al- 
though this country produces plenty of beef, 
yet, from want of care and management, it 
is such as would be considered carrion in 
England ; and in few parts of the world 
is there less accommodation' for travellers, 
there being only a few casas, or inns, of the 
most wretched description. 

The Brazils display an inexhaustible field 
for the researches of the naturalist, for no 
where else can the objects of his inquiry be 
more varied or multiplied. The state of so- 
ciety here is represented, by those whose 
long residence and close intercourse a£ford 
them the means of judging, as extremely de- 
moralized. The men, in their exterior ap- 
pearance, are a squalid, hysterical^ grim-look- 
ing tribe; but the ladies, though generally 
little, and dark-coloured, are not deficient 
in beauty or expression of countenance; 
they want, however, that elegance of gait 
and graceful walk, peculiar to the Spa- 
niards. They are said to be more atten- 
tive to the external forms of decorum than 
to the essential practice of modesty ; but 



this, if true, may " depend,"' as was sug- 
gested by an elegant writer of the last em- 
bassy, " on the example of the men ;" 
for it would scarcely be reasonable to expect 
the perfection of female morals, where every 
manly virtue is unknown. At least three- 
fourths of the world are in a state of bar- 
barism where women have no character at 
all; being either immured in seraglios, 
or the mere slaves and play-things of 
their savage lords ; but among those na- 
tions in that portion of it which has a 
claim to civilization, where they are al- 
lowed to have minds, and assume their just 
rank, the slightest glance will shew that 
when honour, intelligence, and worth, are 
held in most esteem by the one sex, they 
are uniformly rewarded by corresponding 
good qualities in the other. 

The ship having recruited her supply of 
very excellent water *, and other matters 

* Captain Cook complained of the water here being 
very bad. — At that time, perhaps, the aqueduct was not 
so extensively covered, and secured from the admission 
of impurities, as at present. 



adjusted, we took our leave of the American 
shore on the 31st of March, steering south- 
easterly until we got from 36' to 39' south, 
where we found as usual the prevailing 
westerly winds. Keeping in the general 
tract for ships crossing the Soutlicrn At- 
lantic, we passed the islands of Tristan 
d'Acunha, about fifty miles to the north- 
ward of them. The wind continuing fa- 
vourable, we saw the Table Mountain on 
the 18th of April, and anchored on tlie same 
day in the bay. We arrived at a gay time, 
in the middle of horse-racing and balls. 
An India fleet touched here, homeward 
bound, one of the ships having on board 
the Countess of Loudon and family, on 
their passage to England. Cape Town has 
now become almost an English place, and 
is too well known to require any descrip- 
tion here. 

As strangers, on first landing here, we 
were forcibly struck by the remarkable 
,. difference of complexion in the female part 
of the society, compared with the brunettes 
we had just left at Rio Janeiro ; and an 
Englishman is probably the more inclined 



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to esteem the beauty of the Cape ladies 
from its great resemblance to that which 
he is accustomed to admire at home. It 
is hinted, however, that this resemblance 
exists chiefly during youth, and that, in 
their maturer years, they are apt (from 
sedentary habits and want of exercise) to 
acquire a peculiar Hotlentotish obesity. 
But this, perhaps, is only said by ill- 
natured people. 

The ship having gone round to Simon's 
Bay, and the necessary refitment being 
completed, his lordship re-embarked at this 
place, with the usual marks of attention, 
on the 6th of May, and we proceeded on 
our voyage. From 38° to 40° south, we 
found our expected winds; but, as winter 
was far advanced in this hemisphere, (latter 
end of May, and beginning of June,) the 
weather was cold, bleak, and boisterous, 
with a heavy sea. On the 24th May we made 
the islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam. 
Smoke was seen, as we approached, issu- 
ing from the crevides of the latter. * It is 
here where the hot springs so nearly adjoin 
to the great salt-water basin, as to afford the 



singular exhibition of catching fish in the 
latter, and boiling them in the former, with- 
out taking them off the hook, and within 
reach of the rod. The state of the weather, 
which was very rough, and the time of the 
evening, did not allow us to verify this fact, 
but there is no doubt of its truth*. An im- 
mense crater (now apparently converted 
into a sort of harbour, the sea having 
flowed into it) appears on the eastern side 
of the island. 

Having got sufficiently to the eastward 
for the purpose of fetching Java with the 
usual tropical winds, we began to haul 
to the northward and eastward, the wea- 
ther of course becoming daily warmer. 
On the 8th of June, we saw Java Head, 
and anchored next day in Anjeri road, 
where we fdund the Lyra at anchor, and 
saw the Hewitt off Cape Nicholas, on 
her way to Batavia, they having only 

* Mr. Barrow mentions this circumstance in his Ac- 
count of Lord Macartney's Embassy^ having, with Mr. 
Thomas, who also accompanied that mission, actually 
feasted on fish caught and cooked in this manner. 


arrived two days before us*. This passage 
was extraordinary for its rapidity, for in 
ninety-two days, under sail, the ship had 
traversed about fourteen thousand miles, 
and visited every quarter of the globe. 

After staying a day or two at the village 
of Anjeri (where we were amused with the 
ceremony of a Javanese wedding,) Colonel 
Yule, the resident of the Bantam district, 
accompanied by Mr. McGregor, waited on 
the Embassador to pay their respects; and 
having provided the necessary accommo* 
dation for his lordship and suite to proceed 
overland to Batavia, they all set out on 
their journey thither. During our short 
stay here, the king, or sultan, of Bantam, 
died ; and his uncle (the nearest heir to the 
sovereignty) refused to accept the title, pre- 

* The superior sailing of the frigate enabled her to 
touch at Rio Janeiro^ without in any way delaying * the 
general passage; as, notwithstanding this, she nearly 
overtook her consorts who had proceeded directly to the 
Cape. The same was the case here, although they had 
sailed ten days in advance from the latter place, being 
nble to afford them, in such a run, a start of 1,000, or 
1,500 miles. 

C 2 


ferring to Jive in humble retirement. The 
Alceste, having completed her water^ sailed 
also for fiatavia, as she had brought out 
duplicate despatches for our troops to eva- 
cuate the island of Java. The Lyra^ in 
the mean time, had been sent on to China, 
with a communication from Lord Amherst 
to Sir G. Staunton. 

On the 21st June we sailed from Batavia, 
with the General Hewitt ; saw the island of 
Lucepara on the 23d, and entered the 
straits of Banca. Our voyage up the 
Chinese sea presented nothing unusual. 
On the 9th of July we met His Majesty's 
ship Orlando, and received intelhgence of 
the motions of our coadjutors at Macao* 
We joined them at anchor near the Grand 
Lemma on the following day, and found 
along with the Lyra, the Discovery, and 
Investigator, two surveying ships belonging 
to the Company, having on board Sir G. 
Staunton, and some other gentlemen * be- 
longing to the factory, whose knowledge 

* Messrs. MorrisoD; Manning, Toonci Davis, and 


ships and the brig) sailed ; and^ coasting 
along the provinces of Quang-tung and 
Fokien, passed through the Straits of For- 
mosa, and entered the Tung Hai, or East- 
ern Sea, The breeze altered its direction 
occasionally, but was always favourable; 
and, passing out of sight of the Cfausan 
islands, we saw the land to the eastward » 
which we at that time conceived to be 
the south-west point of Corea, On the 
24th we made Staunton's island, and Capes 
Gower and Macartney, on the south-east 
part of the Shan-tung promontory ; and, 
the next day, rounding close the north- 
east point, we stood towards the Gulf of 
Pe-tche-lee. The country here had an ex- 
tremely rugged and sterile look. On the 
26th we passed through the Mee-a-tau 
islands, and steered to the mouth of the 
White (or North) River*, despatchmg the 
Lyra a- head, to announce the approach of 
the squadron. 

An address was now publicly read by 

f m -«■ 

* It is doubtful whether Pei means white or nprth ; 
most probably the ktter; as Pei or Pe-kin signifies 
Northern Court. 




tions ; for they, in fact, had scarcely heard 
of them at one end of their empire, when 
they found them at the other. 

The viceroy of this province (Pe-tche-lee) 
had been for some offence dismissed from 
his office; and his successor, having not 
yet left Pekin, it was not until the 4th of 
August that two duly-authorized mandarins 
of rank (Chang and Yin) came on board to 
pay their respects to the Embassador, and to 
give the necessary directions for the dis- 
embarkation of the presents. To those 
who had seen, for the first time, the Chinese 
costume, these mandarins had a very 
strange appearance. On a back view, their 
short jacket, or gown, with their crape 
petticoats, gave them the look of bulky 
old women; but, in confronting them, 
their clumsy boots and beards *' forbade 
the interpretation/' Here also we observed 
their clerks, or men of letters, distinguished 
by two enormous claws on their left hand, 
which render that hmb in a great degree 
useless to them. The fishermen in this 
vicinity, (almost within a hundred miles of 
the capital,) were literally naked,— even 

\ ^^^BH|ri7M 1 'iW^B 







-life /-#i'^l 




Embassador on shore, his lordship and fhe 
gentlemen of the embassy took their leave 
of us for awhile, landing in great state ou 
the 9th of August ; the squadron being 
dressed in colours, the standard flying, the 
yards manned, and a salute of nineteen 
guns fired from each ship. They proceed- 
ed into the river attended by a number of 
Chinese junks, and by our boats in regular 
order. During the time we remained at 
this place, presents of bullocks, vegetables^ 
rice, tea, garlic, and other refreshments 
were, according to usage, sent off to the 
ships, but by no means in great abundance. 
Several of the bullocks were brought along- 
side dead, having been drowned in the 
bottom of the boats, or died otherwise in 
their passage off; This, however, was not 
meant as disrespect or incivility, for they 
make no distinction themselves between an 
animal that is killed by the butcher^ and 
one which dies naturally. They eat, in a 


him to take precedence even of the viceroy of a province, 
although he may have an inferior button or ball on his 
cap, and be a mandarin of lower order in the state. 



a putrid state, dogs, cats, rats, and, in fact, 
all manner of carrion and vermin. 

In this respect, therefore, they made no 
strangers of us, for they gave us their own 
family fare. 

Not wishing to give offence, or to ac- 
quire the character of a squeamish and over- 
nice sort of people, we did not throw these 
dead bullocks overboard in the presence of 
those who brought them ; but we uniformly 
did so after they had gone away, prefer- 
ring to live on our own »alt beef. 




7%e ships visit Chinese Tartan/^ the Provinces of 
Pe-tche-lee and Shantung, and examine the Coast 
of Corea. 

IT was now determined, by the senior 
officer, that the Lyra, attended by the In- 
vestigator, should take a southerly direction 
in the Gulf, whilst the Alceste and Dis- 
covery were to proceed to the north, a cer- 
tain rendezvous being pointed out for our 
meeting again, to which the General 
Hewitt was also directed. 

On the 11th we weighed, and stood to 
the north-eastward ; the Discovery in com- 
pany : the Lyra and Investigator to the 
southward. On the 13th saw the Sha-loo- 
poo-tien Islands, extending from north- 
west by north to west by south, distant 
about five leagues. We coasted along the 


western shore of the Gulf of Lea-tung, 
hitherto unexplored by any European ship ; 
and found the land, as we advanced, be- 
came more and more mountainous. About 
noon, on the 14th, in latitude 39° 29' N. 
longitude 120° & E., the great wall of China 
opened to the view, bearing north-west 
by west, its nearest and lowest point being 
then distant about six or seven leagues; 
but we approached it closer in the after- 

Rising from the sea, this immense bar- 
rier passed over the first or lowest hill, and, 
mounting the second, was seen stretching 
to the right, in our point of view, ob- 
liquely towards its summit; then on the 
third and still higher land, it inclined to 
the left, making an angle with the last 
range; and ultimately ascending the 
highest and most distant mountain, it was 
there lost. It extends for about fifteen 
hundred miles, and is carried equally over 
mountains and rivers. — " It is said not to 
be more than five-and-twenty feet high, 
flanked with towers at short distances, but 


of sufficient breadth for several horsemen 
to travel easily abreast. Report says, that 
one-third of the men in China, capable of 
labour, were employed in its construction, 
and that it was finished in the space of five 
years/^ The opportunity of surveying this 
extraordinary structure, which, for more 
than twenty ages, has been deemed one of 
the greatest wonders of the world, afford- 
ed, more especially in this unexpected way, 
from the deck of a British man-of-war, the 
most pleasing sensations. Whether it is 
considered, as it is by some, a mighty ef- 
fort of human industry, or, as by others, a 
monument of laborious folly, still it is an 
amazing object, not only from its immense 
extent, but on account of its great anti- 
quity ; and, from being so seldom visible 
to an European eye, to have thus beheld 
it, was a high gratification of curiosity. 
Beyond the wall is a remarkable head- 
land, very much resembhng Cape Sicie, a 
notorious place, near Toulon. The wind 
heading us here, we stood across, about 
sun-set, toward the coast of Chinese Tar- 


tary ; and on the 15th, in the evening, 
anchored in a bay * sheltered by winds 
from the north-west to south, but open to 
the southward and westward, lat. 39° 33' 
N.,^ long. 121' 19' E. We found here a 
cascade of water gushing from the rock, 
which was excellent. 

The natives, who had never seen any 
ships of our class before, naturally crowded 
down next morning on the beach, but 
shewed no inclination to come on board. 
Indeed the people here seemed to be less 
amphibious than those generally found on 
sea-coasts ; few fishing or other boats were 
to be seen, although a very large and fine 
harbour, for vessels driawing twelve or 
fifteen feet water, extended inland round 
a point from the head of the bay. 

The first officer who wandered up to the 
villages, about two miles from the watering- 
place, was nearly devoured by the curiosity 
of the inhabitants. 

Being seated beneath a tree, every part 
of his dress underwent the strictest scru- 

II — '—r-n r * ^^ ^ ■ — • ~ • ^~ I.I. — - . 

* Named Ross Bay. 


tiny, from the shirt-frill to thie shoes ; which 
they took off and examined ; but the an- 
chor-buttons seemed most to attract atten- 
tion, for they would refuse a dollar, and 
gladly accept a button, for any thing. The 
women here had, universally, small feet, all 
who were seen (and on the first morning 
every woman in the village made her ap- 
pearance) being crippled. This we by no 
means expected to have found so far on the 
Tartar side of the Great Wall. 

But these people are, in fact, completely 
Chinese ; the language, dress, and religion 
of that country evidently prevailing ; and 
they appeared to differ in no material re- 
spect from those we afterwards saw in the 
province of Shan-tung, except that they 
were less rude and uncivil. No public 
officer, or man of any rank, made his ap- 
pearance to inquire into the motives of our 
arrival. They were remarkably neat in 
their houses and gardens ; and there was 
an air of comfort about their villages, not 
always to be found in the more civilized 
parts of Europe- The face of the country 
is mountainous, and extremely denuded of 


wood ; not a tree being visible, except in 
the immediate vicinity of their dwellings. 
The hills had the appearance of sheep- 
feeding downs in England ; and the soil, 
as far as we could penetrate, was excellent, 
and a good deal (though by no means to 
the fullest extent), cultivated. The hohus 
sorghum appeared a prominent object. 

Many deep fissures or gulleys were ob- 
served on the sides of the mountains, occa- 
sioned by the torrents from the melting 
snow in summer; for although this part of 
the country is in the same parallel as the 
north of Italy or south of France, and was 
now (in August) very warm, yet, reasoning 
from what we observe in the same latitudes 
on the continents of Europe and America, 
the wintry season must be extremely cold, 
from the bleak winds blowing over the un- 
cultivated wilds to the northward of it. The 
rocks here were composed of a very ponder- 
ous sort of stone, evidently containing a great 
proportion of iron ; and some slate was ob- 
served. There would appear to be some 
town of commercial importance situate 
at the head of the Gulf, from the number 



of junks we saw passing up and down. 
Some matchlocks were noticed at this 
place, but they were merely in the hands 
of individuals, as fowling-pieces; for no 
military people made their appearance. 
We were unable to procure a supply of fresh 
beef; — not from want of cattle, but because 
the people could not comprehend the value 
of Spanish dollars; this coin, of such uni- 
versal circulation, being melted down, the 
moment it gets into the hands of a Chinese 
of Canton. 

Having completed our water, we weighed 
on the 19th, and steered along-shore to the 
southward. At four in the afternoon, we 
saw a considerable town, lying in a hollow 
between two red cKfFs, the neighbourhood 
immediately around it being rather fine, 
and better wooded than usual. It seemed 
a place of some trade, and a number of 
junks were lying at anchor in the roads. 
The narrow promontory which here extends 
into the Yellow Sea, and forms the eastern 
boundary of the Gulf of Lea-tung, was, 
from its resemblance to a sabre, named the 
Regent's Sword : the south end of it is the 



extreme Tartar point, and was called Cape 
Charlotte, in honour of her royal highness 
the princess, 

Leopold's Isle lies a little to the north- 
west of this cape. 

ITie coast along this shore from our an- 
chorage was not unlike that from Plymouth 
Sound to the Start. Next morning (20th), 
steering southerly, we passed through a 
cluster of islands (nearly opposite and not 
very far distant from the Mee-a-taus), which 
were named the Company^s Group, The 
space between them and Cape Charlotte, 
St. George's Channel ; that through which 
we had formerly sailed, Leadenhall-Pas- 
sage ; Ried's Rock and Grant's Island were 
also names appropriated on this occasion. 
This range naturally divides the Gulf of 
Pe-tche-lee from the Yellow Sea. Soon 
after we saw the Mee-a-tau Islands ; and, 
in the afternoon, passed the city of Ten- 
chew-foo, at which Lord Macartney, in the 
last embatssy, touched. It looks very well 
from the sea, but the wall seems of much 
greater extent than is necessary fdr the 
town. We stood on to the eastward, and 

D 2 



entered, in the evening, the bay or harbour 
of Kin-san-seu orZew-a-tau. The clear and 
accurate description of it, by Sir Erasmus 
Gower, enabled the Alceste to proceed in 
without the least hesitation or difficulty. 
Here we found the General Hewitt. Capt. 
Campbell had communicated with the town 
of Ten-chew-foo. There are two towns on 
the peninsula, forming the north-west side of 
the harbour, and one on the opposite shore. 
They have no fortifications here ; at least 
none deserving that name. The people 
appeared extremely gross and boorish, and 
we enjoyed the happiness of being crowded 
with them from daylight till dark, when 
they always went away without the least 
expression of thanks for civilities shewn 
them. We here noticed that all the fe- 
males, high and low, had small feet, which 
is by no means the case in the southern 
provinces, especially about Canton. At 
the latter place, among the middling and 
lower classes, the feet are allowed to re- 
main in their natural state, unless the girl 
promises to be handsome, in which case 
she is crippled, in order to give the finishing 



touch to her beauty, and with the view of 
preparing her for the mandarin market, 
where small feet bring a higher price, and 
where occasionally, also, she obtains some 
interest or favour for her parents through 
the connexion. 

They walk, or rather totter along, like 
one shuffling on her heels only, ^vithout 
putting the fore part of the foot on the 
ground ; and, in moving quick, they not 
unfrequently tumble down, when they 
must gel up again the best way they can ; 
for Chinese gallantry was never observed 
to extend so far as to afford any help on 
such an occurrence. Some more cautiqus, 
were seen moving about, supporting them- 
selves by the walls of the houses. Girls, 
from early infancy to eight or nine years 
old, were carried about in arms, their feet 
being too tender, during the first years of 
this absurd and cruel operation, to enable 
them to bear their weight ; the four smaller 
toes being turned down under the sole, the 
whole foot and ancle cramped, and the 
growth impeded by tight bandages, and 
a small shoe, which is generally again en- 



closed in a larger one. The pain and ir- 
ritation excited by this horrid process, as 
well as the want of exercise, evidently in- 
jure their general health, for all the female 
children had a sickly pallid look. It would 
be as difficult to account for the origin of 
this barbarous practice, as that of squeezing 
the waists of Englishwomen out of all na- 
tural shape by stays, (an usage which has not 
long been laid aside,) or of " treating men 
like mere musical instruments,^^ and tuning 
them as such, in Italy. 

We had here also an opportunity of ob- 
serving the mode in which Chinese women 
ride; a young lady, who appeared from 
her dress and the smallness of her feet, to 
be of the first fashion, being met by a party 
of the officers, on a path so narrow and 
rugged as to afford time on both sides for 
a mutual and closer inspection than could 
have been otherwise! obtained. She was 
only accompanied by an old man^ who led 
the animal, which she bestrode, as men do 
in Europe ; but the stirrups were so short, 
and the saddle of such construction, that 
she looked as if seated in a chair. She 


wore a loose gown or wrapper, with trows- 
ers, which drew close above the ancle, to 
shew her small feet and embroidered shoes ; 
and her head was decked with a profusion 
of flowers. She had that languid and in- 
sipid cast of countenance which may be 
seen by referring to a china tea-cup, where 
very faithful delineations of their higher 
class of females may be t)bserved . It was 
somewhat extraordinary her being found at 
large in this manner. 

On shore th^ people were inhospitably 
rude, and even the children were encou- 
raged to be insolent, and to throw stones. 
One mandarin seized a basket of vege- 
tables from the officers^ steward, ordering 
him and the interpreter (whom he also beat) 
into the boat, with a number of oppro- 
brious, epithets, such as " Foreign Devils ! 
" Spies ! and Fanquays V 

Our relation with the embassy tied our 
hands at this time. 

Finding no refreshment was to be ob- 
tained here, and being told, by some one 
in authority, that there was a greater pro- 
bability of getting cattle at another har- 



bour, forty miles farther to the eastward, 
we prepared to proceed thither. 

We had by this time been joined by the 
Lyra ; Captain Hall having performed the 
duty on which he had been detached by 
the commodore, in running down the 
western and southern shores of the Gulf 
of Pe-tche-lee, which were found to be in 
general low. One place, remarkable for 
its height over the adjoining land, had been 
named Mount Ellis. Here we parted for 
a time with our worthy friends of the Ge- 
neral Hewitt, the companions of our voyage 
outward ; that ship proceeding to Canton, 
to complete her ulterior objects. On the 
26th we weighed from Zeu-a-tau, and next 
morning arrived at Oie-aie-oie, a very ex- 
tensive and secure harbour, the Lyra 
sounding the passage in. On our entrance 
a number of mandarins, (or, as the seamen 
termed them, mad marines) came on board 
to pay their respects ; and an old turret on 
the face of a hill fired three popguns by way 
of salute, turning out about a dozen and a; 
half of soldiers, who looked a good deal like 
the stage-military in an old-fashioned play. 



Their salute was returned by an equal 
number of guns from the ships. At this 
place died Mr. Gawthrop, the master, aged 
forty-three years, (thirty -three of which he 
had been at sea,) after a severe illness con- 
tracted at the Cape of Good Hope. He 
had been distinguished as a good seaman 
and correct navigator ; his career in the 
navy had also been marked by his abilities 
as a surveyor of coasts and harbours ; and, 
although a maa of blunt manners, his ho- 
nesty was sterling. The ship's reckoning 
had been kept, during his confinement, by 
Mr. Taylor, the chaplain. 

We buried him at sea, near the mouth 
of the harbour, with military honours ; it 
not being considered right to inter him 
among a set of men who would have dis- 
turbed the grave for the coffin or the 
clothes, and of whose thievish disposition 
we had had the fullest example. 

It has been deemed by some, unfair to esti- 
mate the character of the Chinese by what 
is observed at Canton, where it is said they 
have been corrupted by Europeans. At 
this extremity of the empire, where no 


European face had ever been seen be- 
fore, we found, however, the same pilfer- 
ing predilection. One pickpocket was 
seized in the act by Lieutenant Dwarris, 
whose purse he had taken, and, being 
dragged before a mandarin, received a very 
severe bambooing. This act of justice it is 
right to record, as well as an instance of 
honesty in a Chinese of Kin-san-seu, in re- 
turning a watch to the proper owner, who, 
from inattention, had left it at his house the 
day before. 

China has been represented, and in Eu- 
rope is generally believed to be, a country 
so overstocked with inhabitants as to re- 
quire a cultivation of the soil to the utmost 
extent of which it is capable, in order to 
supply them with the necessaries of life ; 
and that even this extraordinary degree of 
culture has been often found insufficient for 
the purpose. From actual observation, 
whilst thus coasting along in the ships, we 
can affirm this not to be the fact. We saw 
large tracts of good land lying waste, not 
only on the Tartar side of the Great Wall, 
but in the province of Shan-tung itself^ 


t^rhich could never have been the case had 
an exuberant population occasioned a de- 
mand for subsistence. This erroneous 
opinion has most probably arisen from the 
route of strangers generally lying through 
the more thickly-peopled parts of the coun- 
try, as well as their listening with too much 
credulity to the exaggerated statements of 
the Chinese themselves, who never fail to 
magnify every circumstance tending to in- 
crease in the minds of foreigners their na- 
tional power and importance. 

We lost no time at this place, where 
nothing substantial was to be found *, but 
proceeded to sea on the 29th, standing to 
the eastward along the Shan-tung shore. 
On the 31st we saw the land bearing east; 
but, the wind being light, anchored in forty- 
three fathoms. Towards morning we 
weighed, and the next day anchored again 
among a cluster of islands, lat. 37" 45' N.» 
long. 124° 40' 30' E., on the coast of Corea. 


* Here parted for Macao the Discovery and In- 
vestigator. They were towed up, and sailed down' 



The natives here exhibited, by signs and 
gestures, the greatest aversion to the land- 
ing of a party from the ships, making cut- 
throat motions by drawing their hands 
across their necks, and pushing the boats 
away from the beach ; but they offered no 
serious violence. These islands were named 
Sir James HalFs Group. The main land, 
of considerable height, was in view, and 
not far distant. We weighed again, and, the 
wind being easterly, stood to the south- 
ward. On the 2d we were out of sight of 
any land ; but, the wind changing, made 
sail easterly, and, on the 3d, passed a num- 
ber of islands, with which the sea was stud- 
ded as far as the eye could reach from the 
mast-head, and, on the 4th, stood into a 
fine bay, formed by the main land to the 
northward and eastward, and sheltered in 
a great degree in other points by Helen's 
and other islands to the westward. Here we 
anchored in six fathoms water, in front of a 
village, a larger town being observed at 
some distance. In the evening six or seven 
large boats came off to the Lyra (being 
nearest the shore), one of them having on 


board a chief (most probably of this dis- 
trict), attended by a numerous retinue. 
There he met the commodore; and, after 
partaking of some refreshment, proceeded, 
although it was now dark, on board the 
Alceste. He was saluted, on leaving the 
Lyra, with three guns, which was repeated 
by the frigate. As he shoved off from the 
brig, one of his attendants, having in some 
way or other misbehaved, was by his order 
extended on the deck of the boat, and re- 
ceived, in a summary way, about a dozen 
and a half blows with a flat bamboo over 
the seat of honour; and, as the culprit 
squalled, a number of his companions 
standing round him joined in the howl, 
either in derision, or to drown his noise. 
This ceremony finished, a flourish of trum- 
pets and other instruments announced his 
approach to the frigate. He was a man 
apparently about seventy years of age, of 
a very venerable and majestic mien ; his 
hair and beard of a hoary whiteness. His 
dress was a flowing light blue robe, with 
loose sleeves, and fastened round his mid- 
dle by a buff-coloured leathern girdle. He 



had on his head an immense hat, not less 
than five or six feet round the brim, made 
of some substance resembhng horse-hair 
varnished over. The cavity to receive the 
head being fixed under the brim; that which 
rose above it, as in European hats, was not 
larger than a common tumbler. He wore 
a kind of half-boots, very much peaked 
and turned up at the points ; and in his 
hand he held a short black stick, twisted 
round with a silken cord, which seemed to 
be the badge of his office. Divested of his 
broad-brimmed hat, he would not upon the 
whole have made a bad representative of 
old King Lear. Of his attendants some 
were militiuy, being distinguished by a 
short sword or rapier, the officers wearihg 
peacocks' feathers in their hats (a distinct 
tion which also exists in China for then of 
military merit) ; and the rest were civilians. 
He was ushered into the cabin, where, in 
preference to chairs, he sat down upon 
one of the sofa-cushions, placed upon deck. 
It appearing to be etiquette for the head to 
be covered, the whole party, consisting of 
Captains Maxwell, Hall, and other oflfi<*rs, 


conformed to this rule, and, squatting on 
the cabin-floor, with gold-laced cocked 
hats on, amid the strange costume of the 
Coreans, looked like a party of masquers. 

Much edifying conversation was, no 
doubt, lost on this occasion ; for much was 
said, on both sides, but unfortunately not 
one word was understood ; the Chinese in- 
terpreter we had on board not being able 
to write his own language ; and some of 
the Coreans could write, although they 
could not speak, at least that dialect which 
he comprehended. The old gentleman 
now dictated something which his secre- 
tary wrote, and it was put into the hand 
of Captain Maxwell. The latter, as the 
shortest mode of communicating that he 
could not read this, wrote in his turn a line 
in English, and delivered it to the chief. 
This had the desired effect, and they 
seemed astonished to find, that the written 
characters in use amongst them, were not 
the only ones in the world*. 

* Mr. Barrow, in his work upon China, describes the 
writt^i characters of that country as symbols of ideas, 
which are understood by the literati of the adjacent states, 



He displayed, by signs, however, his sa- 
tisfaction at the mode of his reception; 
and, afler partaking of some liqueurs and 
sweetmeats, took his departure late in the 
evening from the ship, when he was again 
saluted with three guns, his band of music 
striking up one of their martial airs. His 
own people, when speaking to this chief- 
tain, put their two hands upon their knees, 
and bent their bodies forward. He evi- 
dently kept up a very strict discipline 
among them, and they all treated him with 
the most reverential respect. 

although they do not comprehend a word of each other's 
colloquial dialect. He says, it is a language addressed to 
the eye, and not to the ear — ^like the notes of a piece of 
music which are equally intelligible throughout the various 
European kingdoms. Another writer, in continuation on 
this subject, adds, , as an illustration, the instance of the 
Roman numervAs in our part of the world. Probably 
there was an error of the press here, for it is evident he 
had in view, not the Roman, but the Arabian nu- 
merals. The figures 1, 2, S, 4, certainly afford a 
very ready illustration of these characters, as they convey, 
on looking at them, the same ideas to every man in Europe, 
although the people of the different nations, in speaking 
of the numerals themselves, would express them by sounds 
very dissimilar. » ! 


During the night several boats were an- 
chored near the Lyra, apparently to watch 
her motions ; and early in the morning the 
same chief, accompanied by a still greater 
retinue, was seen embarking at the nearest 
village, and soon after he visited the Brig, 
where he breakfasted. He had in his train 
some secretaries, who employed themselves 
in noting down every thing relative to the 
ships which could be acquired by signs : 
the complement of men was described by 
pointing to them, and then holding up 
ten fingers a certain number of times; they 
counted the guns, examined the muskets, 
measured the decks, and made other re- 
marks. A shot was fired, by express desire 
from one of the carronades ; and the dis- 
tance it went, but particularly its recodieU 
ting along the surface of the water, seemed 
to strike them with astonishment. After 
breakfast, a small party of the officers 
(Captains Maxwell, Hall, Messrs. Clifford, 
Law, and M'Leod) got into the boats with 
the view of landing at the village; and the 
old chief, thinking they were proceeding 
on board the frigate, left his own vessel 


and shifted into our gig, his other boats at- 
tending. But no sooner did he perceive 
the course directed to the shore than his 
countenance fell, and he seemed altogether 
in a state of great perturbation, making 
signs that he wished to go to the Alceste, 
and shaking his head when they pointed to 
the town. 

Having reached the beach, the party 
landed,, and were immediately surrounded 
by a concourse of people. The old chief- 
tain hung his head, and clasped his hands 
in mournful silence ; at last, bursting into 
a fit of crying, he was supported, sobbing 
all the way, to a little distance, where he 
sat down upon a stone, looking back at 
the officers with the most melancholy as- 
pect. His feelings appeared to be those of 
a man who imagined some great calamity 
had befallen his country in the arrival of 
strange people; and that he was the un- 
happy being in whose government thistnis- 
fortune had occurred. 

The natives, who had in the mean time 
been driven by their soldiers to a respectful 
distance, stood gazing in astonishment 


alternately at their afflicted chief and at our 

Captain Maxwell, observing the distress 
it occasioned him, would permit no ad- 
vance on our side; and, beckoning to him 
to come back, he arose, and slowly re- 

It was explained as well as could be 
done, that no injury was intended, and that 
we were friends. The old man then point- 
ed to the sun ; and, describing its revolving 
course four times, he drew his hand across 
his throat, and dropping his chin upon his 
breast, shut his eyes, as if dead ; intimat- 
ing that in four days (probably the period 
in which an answer could arrive from Kin- 
ki-tao, the capital, for he also pointed to 
the interior) he should lose his head. One 
of his secretaries, or legal advisers (an 
amazingly long-winded man), squatted on 
the top of a large stone, now made an ha- 
rangue of considerable length, the purport 
of which was evidently against the advance 
of the strangers. Signs were made by us 
foi^ something to eat and drink (thinking 
hospitality might induce them to invite us 

£ 2 



into their houses) ; but messengers were in- 
stantly despatched to the village, who 
brought down little tables, with mats to sit 
on, and some refreshments. These, how- 
ever, not being our real objects, were not 
accepted, making them understand that it 
was unbecoming to offer them in that un- 
sheltered manner, on the open beach ; and, 
by way of a hint that this was not our mode 
of treating strangers, we invited them to re- 
turn to the frigate, where they should dine 
handsomely, and meet with every respect. 
The old man, who had observed attentively, 
and seemed perfectly to comprehend the 
meaning of the signs used on this occasion, 
answered by going through the motions of 
eating and drinking with much appearance 
of liveliness and satisfaction, smiling and 
patting his stomach afterwards, to say all 
was very fine; then, looking extremely 
grave, he drew his hand across his neck, 
and shut his eyes ; as if to say, " What 

signifies your good dinners when I must 

lose my head V 

Perceiving it was impossible to penetrate 
farther into the interior without violence^ 




which we had neither the right nor the in- 
clination to use, our party re-embarked, 
affecting to be much hurt at the treatment 
we had received. 

The old gentlieman followed us on board 
the Alceste, seemingly much dejected, and 
looking as if ashamed that he could not pay 
more attention. Wandering about the 
decks, attempting to converse, by signs, 
with every one he met, he at last made 
another effort to communicate by writing, 
and taking a piece of paper from a gentle- 
man who was sitting at his desk, wrote 
some characters upon it, which he seemed 
to require an immediate answer to; but, of 
course, none could be given. This paper 
was retained; and, being shewn some 
months afterwards to Mr. Bannerman, at 
Canton, turned out to be, " I don't know 
" who ye are ; what business have ye here V 
It was pretty evident, however, that he 
was acting from orders which he dared not 
trifle with, rather than from any inhospita- 
ble feeling in his own nature ; for in this 
respect there was a manly frankness in the 
behaviour of all the Coreans we saw, and 



nothiug that could be considered as an in- 
clination to be rude. 

He received a Bible, which Captain 
Maxwell (to whom he seemed very thank- 
ful for not insisting upon going into the 
town) presented him with, and carried it 
on shore with much care, most likely sup- 
posing it to be some official communica- 
tion. These people are said to have so 
great a veneration for books, that the act 
of purchasing them is, in fact, a religious 

Basil's Bay (which this place was named) 
lies in lat. 3& 9' N., long. 126^ 32' £., and 
we were, in sea-phrase, at least an hundred 
and twenty miles high and dry up the coun- 
try, according to the existing charts. 

This afternoon (5th) va got under weigh, 
and stood to the southward, through in- 
numerable islands, which were all high, 
rising like mountains out of the sea. 
None of them seemed of great extent, few 
appearing longer than three or four miles, 
and were, as far as we could see, in some de- 
gree cultivated. The inhabitants gene- 
rally crowded to the top of the highest 



eminence, where they remained huddled 
together, and gazing until the ships were 

On the 8th, we anchored in lat. 34° 26' 
N., and here we discovered that the land 
seen on coming up the Whang Hai or Yel- 
low Sea, (at present considerably to the 
southward and westward of us,) and which 
had been at that time called Cape Amherst, 
was not the continent. It was now named 
Alceste Island ; and another range, about 
twenty in number, running north and 
south, rather within it, but outside the Co- 
rean Archipelago, were called the Amherst 
Isles. This morning, after sounding our 
way in, we came to an anchor in a most 
excellent harbour, named Murray ^s Sound ; 
the two islands which principally form it. 
Shamrock and Thistle. 

Here a number of observations were 
taken, and surveys made, to ascertain the 
exact geographical position of the land, and 
the qualities of the anchorage; and dis- 
tinguishing names were, of course, given 
to remarkable spots, which might serve on 
future occasions as leading marks. From 
the top of Montreal, one of the highest, one 



hundred and thirty-five other islands were 
distinctly counted ; the main land, which 
seemed bold and lofty, was seen ranging 
from north-east to east-south-east, distant 
about forty miles. From Murray's Sound, 
Craig Harriet, a very pecuHar rock, rising in 
sugar-loaf form from the sea, bears south 
39" west, five miles. Another rock, Huntly 
Lodge, situate on an island, south 40° east, 
resembles a church with a square tower. 
Windsor Castle bore north 40° 50' east. 
The direction of the sound itself north 
north-east half east, and south south-west 
half ^v^est. It is a very secure anchorage, 
with excellent holding ground. . The inter- 
vening spaces between the multitude of 
isles, generally from one to two, or three, 
and even four miles across, are all (at least 
as far as the boats examined) close har- 
bours, and capable of containing, in secu- 
rity, all the navies of the world. They 
form, in fact, an almost endless chain of 
harbours, communicating with each other. 
The rise and fall of tide is here consider- 
able, but the setting of the currents among 
such a number of islands must, of course, 
be extremely various. They appear to be^ 


all -mhabited, and therefore must possess 
fresh water. 

On our first landing on Thistle Island, 
the women fled, with their infant children, 
over the hill, to a place which we 
named Eagle Point (from a large eagle 
being perched on the precipice as w6 
came in), and hid themselves in recesses 
among the rocks; whilst the men, in a 
body, but unarmed, waved and hallooed 
to us not to advance, making the usual 
signal with their hands across the throat. 

When they found, however, by repeated 
visits, that no hostility was intended,* and 
that we were rather inclined to give than to 
take from them, they became a little more 
tame, would crowd round the officers t) 
see them fire at a mark, bring them water 
to drink, and offer them part of their hum- 
ble fare to eat ; but all this they seemed to 
do in a perfect spirit of independence, and 
not from fear. Then suddenly, as if recol- 
lecting they were acting contrarj^ to orders 
in holding any correspondence whatever 
with strangers, they would lay hold of some 
of the gentlemen by the shoulders, and 




push them away, pointing to the ship, in- 
timating that was the most proper place for 

A gentleman of the Alceste having loi- 
tered behind his comrades one afternoon on 
Thistle Island, found himself unexpectedly 
near a number of the natives. They 
seemed to remark the sword he had 
in his hand, and thinking this a good 
opportunity to shew he had no distrust of 
tbem, he threw it on the ground, and 
spurned it with his foot, as an unne- 
cessary instrument among friends, and 
advanced to them with open arms. A 
loud shout of approbation proclaimed 
that they saw the meaning of this. He 
now endeavoured to render himself still 
more agreeable, by singing a song, and 
dancing for them. Tl^ey were not sparing 
of their applause for his efforts to please ; 
but when he had finished his feats, one of 
them picked up the sword which he had 
thrown down, and putting it into his hand, 
tapped him good-humouredlyon the shoul- 
der, and pointed to the frigate which was 
at an anchor not far distant. This sort of 



conduct we found uniformly wherever we 

We observed no fire-arms among them, 
but some who came on board the Alceste 
discovered considerable acquaijitance with 
the sword exercise. They cultivate as much 
grain as they want for their own consump- 
tion ; they feed cattle (at least for domestic 
purposes) ; and, as may naturally be suppos- 
ed, from their peculiar and insular situation, 
they subsist a good deal by fishing. Of their 
government, general manners, and cus- 
toms, it would be impossible to speak with 
any accuracy from so limited an intercourse 
as we had with them. 

China has very little communication with 
the barbarians of the westy and that is chiefly 
confined to a particular spot, the port of 
Canton; Japan has still less, and Corea 
none at all. A connexion, however, is 
kept up with China by two or three annual 
junks from the eastern coast. 

What little knowledge we possess of Co- 
rea is mostly derived from the Jesuits of 
China, who certainly were not infallible 
guides in all matters ; but in the geogra- 



phy, general literature, and delineation of 
manners and customs, when unconnected 
with their own superstitions, their labours 
are entitled to a distinguished place in the 
republic of letters, especially when the dif- 
ficulties they had to struggle with are taken 
into consideration. But here they were 
freed from every motive to deceive, and 
had only to tell the simple truth *. 

Corea (or Kaoli) is tributary to the em- 
peror of China, and sends him triennial 
Embassadors expressive of its homage. 
We saw enough, however, to convince us 
that the sovereign of this country governs 
with the most absolute sway ; and that, oc- 
casionally, he makes very free with the 
heads of his subjects. The allusion to this 

* However well the Jesuits may have fared about the 
courts of Europe, their situation in China was by no means 
a sinecure ; and they must have been very much in ear- 
nesty indeed, in that cause which could have induced them 
to remain in a country where, as helpless strangers, they 
were often extremely ill-treated, and received unmerciful 
bambooings. They have very pathetically described the 
face-slapping punbhment which was occasionally inflicted 
on them. 



danger could not have been so constant 
and uniform, in places so. remote from each 
other, without some strong reason. 

This country, which is also called Chau* 
tsien by the Chinese, and Solho by the 
Mantchew Tartars, is, by the most authen- 
tic reports, separated on the north and 
north-west from the Tartar provinces by a 
chain of mountains, and at one part from 
Lea-tung by a barrier of palisades; it is 
bounded on the west by the Yellow Sea, 
and on the east by the sea of Japan ; the 
straits of Corea, about 86 miles wide, di- 
viding it on the south-east from the latter 

It is represented as divided into eight 
large provinces, " containing forty inferior 
districts, in which there are thirty-three 
cities of the first class, fifty-eight of the 
second, and seventy of the third*. Its 
chief rivers, the Ya-lou and Tou-men, rise 
from the Shanelin^ or Ever-white Mountairty 
indicative of its being perpetually covered 
with snow. It is intersected in all directions 

* These cities are probably not very large. 



by mountains. It produces abundance of 
wheat and rice. From a species of palm 
found in this country, a gum or balsam is 
extracted, of which a yellow varnish is pre- 
pared, said to be little inferior in beauty to 
gilding. It has a small breed of horses, 
only three feet high. The sea-coast abounds 
with fish of various kinds; and many 
whales are found every year towards the 
north-east; some of which are stated to 
have the harpoons of the European whale- 
fishers sticking in their bodies ; and must, 
consequently, have come all the way from 
Greenland, through the Arctic Ocean, 
along the north-coast of Asia or America, 
and by Behring's Straits, into the seas of 
Kamtshatka, Jesso^ and Japan." 

" Their women are not under the same 
restraints as in China. Every seventh year 
all the males of the several provinces, who 
are fit to carry arms, are obliged to attend 
at the capital in succession, doing military 
duty for two months ; so that during this 
seventh year, the whole male population 
of the country is in motion and under 




About the end of the l6th century, it 
appears the Japanese invaded and overran 
Corea, but were driven out again by the 
natives, assisted by the Mantchew Tartars. 
The latter, at this time, attempted to com- 
pel the Coreans to cut off their hair, and 
alter their dress ; but this occasioned a ge- 
neral revolt, which was only appeased bj 
the Tartars yielding their point *. 

The law against intercourse with foreign- 
ers appears to be enforced with the utmost 
rigour -f . At one of the islands to the north, 
where we first landed, a Corean, in an un- 
guarded moment, accepted a button which 
had attracted his attention ; but soon after, 
as the boats were shoving off, he ran down 
into the water, and insisted on restoring it, 

* The Chinese, in a similar case, evinced a very differ- 
ent kind of spirit. An empire consisting, according to 
their own returns, of three hundred and thirty millicns, 
tamely permitted a handful of Tartars to shave their heads 
and dress them as they thought proper. 

t It is said that the crew of a Dutch vessel, a con- 
siderable time since wrecked on the eastern coas^ were 
detained in slavery for nineteen years, without being 
heard of, when some of them managed to get away. 



at the same time (by way of reparation for 
his fault,) pushing the boat with all his 
might away from the beach. On almost 
all occasions they positively refused every 
thing oflfered to them. 

His Corean majesty may well be styled 
* king often thousand isles/' - but his sup- 
posed continental dominions have been very 
nuch circumscribed by our visit to his 
siores. Except in the late and present em- 
fcassies, no ships had ever penetrated into 
the Yellow Sea ; the Lion kept the coast of 
China aboard only, and neither touched at 
the Tartar or Corean side. Cook, P6rouse, 
Broughton, and others, had well defined 
the bounds on the eastern coast of this 
country, but the western had hitherto 
been laid down on the charts from imagina- 
tion only, the main land being from a hun- 
cred to a hundred and thirty miles farther 
to the eastward than these charts led us 
to believe. 

The Jesuits, therefore, must have taken 
the eoast of Corea from report, and not 
fromobservatiouj for their chart is most in- 
correct, and by no means corresponds with 



their usual accuracy. It has been already 
observed that the Chinese written charac- 
ters have found their way here ; but they 
would appear to be confined to the literati, 
for the common language has no resem- 
blance in sound to the colloquial dialect of 




Arrival at the Island of Grand Lewchew — our 
kind Reception by the Natives — with some Ac-- 
count of the History^ general Character and 
Manners of this singular People — Remarks on 
the Climate and Produce of the Island. 

ON the 10th we got under weigh and 
proceeded on our voyage, standing through 
the south passage, and made sail to the 
southward, (giving the name of Lyra ta 
an island which bore east of Alceste's about 
ten or twelve leagues, and distant nearly 
the same north-westerly from Quelpart). 
On the 11th, sounded in forty-nine fathoms 
muddy bottom, in lat, SV 42' N., long. 
126' 30' E. On the morning of the 13th we 
made Sulphur Island, an active volcano^ 
situated in lat. 27" 56' N., long. 128° 11' 
E. Whilst yet at a great distance, we 


could observe volumes of smoke at short 
intervals bursting from its crater. We 
hove-to for some time under its lee, in front 
of a horrid chasm, from whence the smoke 
issued, but found it impossible to land, as 
there was much wind and swell, and the 
surf broke with tremendous violence around 
its base. The island, which does not appear 
above four or five miles in circumference, 
rises precipitous from the sea, except in 
one or two spots ; and its height must be 
considerable, judging from the distance we 
saw it, perhaps 1,200 feet. The sulphur- 
ous smell emitted, even when two or three 
miles off, was very strong*. One end of 
the island displayed strata of a brilliant red- 
coloured earth, which had been noticed 
before on some part of the Corean main. 
One would almost be induced to beheve 
that the mercury and sulphur, so abundant 
in these regions, had combined to give this 

* A few families are placed here, at certain periods of 
the year, to collect the sulphur emitted by this volcano, 
which forms a considerable branch of revenue to the king 
of die Lewchew s lands. 

F 2 


vermilion hue to the ground. From 
hence we stood on to the southward with 
a strong wind at north by east, which 
soon increased to a gale* Not having suffi- 
cient run for the night, and being totally 
unacquainted with the coast we were ap- 
proaching, the ship was put under snug 
canvass, and hauled to the wind on the 
starboard tack. On the morning of the 
14th we again made sail, and soon observed 
an island rising like a cone to a considerable 
height, with that of grand Lewchew im- 
mediately behind it. The state of the 
weather would not warrant our standing 
closer in with the land than about eight 
miles, as it now blew fresh from the west- 
north-west, which made it a lee shore. We 
hauled to the south-westward, and in the 
afternoon suddenly saw breakers under our 
lee, the Lyra being closer in, and rather 
a-head. To have put about with the ^nd, a& 
it then was, would have embayed us for the 
night ; for the main body of the island seem- 
ed to form, with the peak we had left astern 
and the position we were now in, a sort of 
bight. The Lyra, indeed, could not have 



tacked in such a swell, and was almost too 
near to attempt wearing. Both ships, there- 
fore, stood on with every sail they could 
carry, on the starboard tack, endeavour- 
ing to weather the reef. Much anxiety 
existed, at this moment, on board the Al- 
ceste, for the fate of the brig ; the breakers 
rearing their white tops close to leeward of 
her, and rolling, with terrific force, upon 
the rocks. By steady steerage, however, 
and a press of sail, she at last passed the 
danger, and bore up through a channel 
formed by the reef and some high islets to 
the southward, very much to the satisfac- 
tion of all concerned ; and she was followed 
by the frigate. We hove-to, for the night, 
under the lee of the larger island, and the 
next morning's dawn, the weather being 
now extremely fine, displayed to our view a 
rich extent of cultivated scenery, such ag 
we had not been lately accustomed to, on 
the naked coasts of Tartary and China, 
Rising in gentle ascent from the sea, the 
grounds were disposed more like the finest 
country seats in England than those of an 
island so remote from the civilized world, — 



the tranquil, placid, and refreshing look of 
every thing around, forming a very pleasing 
contrast with the boisterous sea and dan- 
gerous condition of the previous day. We 
were in front of a town, having a sort of 
line wall, along the water's edge, from 
whence some fishing-boats approached the 
Lyra, which by this time had anchored ; 
and on the people being interrogated by 
signs, as to the proper anchorage, they 
pointed round the south-west end of the 
island, kindly offering, at the same time^ 
some vegetables and fresh water, which 
they had in their canoes. 

We made sail in the direction indicated, 
carefully sounding and looking out as we 
advanced along shore, and at night an- 
chored in deep water. On the l6th, at 
day-light, we continued our course, and 
passing near some fishing canoes, we threw 
a rope into one of them, to enable the man 
to hold on alongside, and come on board ; 
but, instead of this, he very good-naturedly 
made fast a fish to the end of the rope, and 
then paddled away to resume his occupa- 
tion. About noon we descried a considerr 


able town, with a number of vessels at 
anchor under it, in a harbour, the mouth of 
which was formed by two pier-heads. In 
the afternoon, having explored our passage 
through the adjacent reefs, (the Lyra lead- 
™g)j we anchored in front of this town. 
The astonished natives, who, most probably, 
had never been visited by an European 
ship before * were perched in thousands on 
the surrounding rocks and heights, gazing 
on the vessels as they entered. Soon after, 
several canoes came alongside, containing 
some people in office, who wished to know 
to what country we belonged, and the na- 
ture of our visit. By the assistance of the 
Chinese interpreter, whose language some 
of them understood, they were informed 
that we were ships of war belonging to the 
King of England, which had carried an 
Embassador from that monarch to the 
Emperor of China; and, after having 
landed him and his retinue near Pekin, we 
had on our return to Canton, where the 

* Captain Broughton^ after the loss of the Providence 
in 1797, anchored at this place in a schooner, and r^ 
mained forty-eight hours. 



Embassador was to re-embark, met with 
violent weather at sea, in which the ship 
had sprung a leak, obliging us to put in 
there, in order to repair our damages. To 
make this story feasible, the well was filled 
by turning the cock in the hold ; and the 
chain-pumps being set to work threw out 
volumes of water on the main deck, to the 
great amazement of these people, who 
seemed to sympathize very much with our 
misfortunes. This ruse was necessary to 
free their minds from that state of alarm 
which must naturally arise on the arrival 
of ships of such unusual appearance and 
force, and of a people with whose motives 
they were unacquainted, and who might 
justly be considered as the objects of sus- 
picion had no reason but mere curiosity 
been assigned. They returned immediately 
on shore, and put in requisition a number 
of carpenters, and people acquainted with 
the construction of their own vessels, whom 
at daylight in the morning, we found crowd- 
ing on board, having brought with them 
the rude implements of their art, in order 
to render what assistance they could in 



stopping the leak. This offer of kindness 
was, of course, civilly declined by the se- 
nior oflScer, on the ground that we had 
plenty of good carpenters on board, who 
were perfectly equal to the task ; stating to 
them that an asylum was all we required 
during the time of repair, with permission 
to take on board some fresh provisions 
and water, of which we stood much in 
need ; and all this we would most cheer- 
fully pay for. 

An immediate supply of bullocks, pigs, 
goats, fowls, eggs, and other articles, with 
abundance of excellent sweet potatoes, ve- 
getables, fruit then in season, and even can- 
dles * and fire-wood, followed this intima- 
tion. Supplies of the same description were 
sent on board as often as was necessary, 
for about six weeks, the period of our 
stay on the island; those who brought 
them taking a receipt to shew they had 
been delivered safely ; but the chief 
authorities, who sent them, obstinately 

* Their candles are made of unrefined wax, with paper 
wicks, and give aa excellent light. 



refused any payment or remuneration 

Meantime, it being found impracticable 
for the frigate to swing in the inner harbour 
at low water, the road in which we lay 
was accurately examined, and found to be 
so protected with coral reefs to seaward, 
and covered by the land to the eastward, 
as to be completely sheltered, except in a 
very slight degree at its entrance, and of 
sufficient extent and depth to contain even 
ships of the line. 

On the 20th we moved up to the head of 
this road, to a place which we called Barn- 
pool, where we afterwards rode out in 
safety the equinoctial gales (or change of 
the monsoons). 

On inquiring of them where the king 
was, they said, after some hesitation, ten 
thousand miles off; and when it was hinted 
that it was necessary to have a party on 
shore, such as ropemakers and smiths, 
where they could have more room to work, 
and thereby expedite our refit, they re- 
quested this might not be done until they 
heard from the king, it being an unprece^ 



dented case, in which they were incompe- 
tent to act without orders. 

Unwilling to give cause of alarm or un- 
easiness to a people who seemed so well 
disposed, and for whose fears and suspi- 
cions it was but reasonable to make every 
allowance, we remained quietly on board 
until the 22d, when intimation was received 
that a great personage intended paying a 
visit to the commodore. 

At the mouth of a little river, opposite 
which we had anchored, we observed this 
chief embarking amidst a great concourse 
of people. He was saluted on his ap- 
proach with three guns from each ship, and 
received on board with every mark of re- 
spect. He was a man about sixty years 
of age, with a venerable white beard : his 
dress a purple robe, with very loose sleeves, 
and fastened round his middle with a sash 
of red silk ; he had sandals on his feet, with 
white gaiters, not unlike short stockings. 
His cap (the badge of his dignity) was 
Inade of some slight material, , twisted 
peatly into folds, and covered with a light 
purple-coloured silk. He had a numerous 



suite with him ; some were official people of 
different ranks, and the rest his personal 
attendants. Here the occasion of our visit 
was again discussed ; the pumps were set 
to work to shew the effect of the leak ; and 
promises on their part renewed of every 

Although they had not heard from the 
king on the subject of our going on 
shore, and notwithstanding it was contrary 
to a general rule for any stranger to land 
upon their coast, yet, they now said, a 
few of the officers were always welcome to 
walk about within certain bounds. After 
partaking of a very handsome entertain- 
ment, he took his leave, the captain pro- 
mising to return his visit. At one o'clock 
on the following day the boats were 
manned, and Captains Maxwell and Hall, 
with several of the officers in full uniform, 
proceeded into Napa-kiang*. This har- 
bour is formed by the mouth of a river, at 

^ Napa appears to have been the original name of the 
town ; but, since their connexion with China, the term 
Foo (or city of the first class) has been added ; making 


the entrance of which, on each side, are 
strong-built walls or piers, for a consider- 
able way up, and inside were anchored 
several rather large junks. Vessels under 
the size of frigates could be received very 
well in this river ; — the bottom is soft mud. 
The river widens somewhat immediately 
above the anchorage, and in it is situated 
a very pretty and well-wooded little island. 
At the landing-place the party were met 
by some of the chiefs, who had been most 
in the habit of visiting the ships, each of 
whom, taking one of the officers by the 
hand, led him through an immense col- 
lection of spectators to the gate of a public 
building, where the old gentleman already 
mentioned attended to welcome them into 
the house. Here an entertainment was 
served up in a style which a pastry-cook, 
or connoisseur in eating, might describe, 
but which to another might be a difficult 
task. The utmost good humour, however, 

Napafoo. Kiang, another Chinese word, signifies river, 
and, when coupled with Napa, means merely the river, 
port, or anchorage of the place. 



prevailed, and a liqueur (chazzi), some-* 
thing like rosolio, was passed round in 
abundance, so that it was quite a man's 
own fault if he was not cheerful. 

Many loyal and friendly toasts, appli- 
cable to both countries, were given and 
drank with enthusiasm. As they had 
hitherto generously supplied the ships with 
fresh provisions, vegetables, and fruit, and 
constantly refused any kind of payment, 
either in money or by way of barter, the cap- 
tains thought this a proper opportunity to 
offer, as a mark of their personal regard, 
some presents to the chiefs, consisting of 
various wines, cherry brandy, English 
broad cloths, a telescope, and other arti- 
cles; and on this ground only they were 
accepted; reserving it to themselves, at 
the same time, to make what personal re- 
turn they might thing proper to this inter- 
change of friendship. 

At the end of this conference, it being 
proposed to take a walk over the city, a 
consultation was held among them ; when 
the request was mildly declined, as we sup- 
posed through the influence of Buonaparte^ 


(a man of dark and peculiar aspect, so 
named because he was suspected of being 
the most inchned to keep us at arm's 
length), stating, they were afraid some bad 
people might be induced to treat us with 
disrespect. It was evident they had not 
the power, without consulting higher au- 
thority, to admit us to freer access ; for the 
people themselves, almost without excep- 
tion, appeared by this time to have no ap- 
prehension about our motives. After much 
hilarity the party took their leave, attended 
in the same way as on landing. 

It was worthy of notice how much regu- 
larity and decorum existed among so many 
thousands as were here collected. A lane 
was formed, on the inner side of which the 
smallest boys (generally kneeling) were 
placed ; another row squatted behind 
these ; then the men (those nearest stoop- 
ing a little) ; and outside the still taller 
people, or those mounted on stones, ^c. ; 
so that all, without bustle or confusion, 
might have a complete view of the stran- 
gers. The utmost silence reigned, and not 
a whisper was heard. Perhaps they had 



purposely sent their women out of the way ; 
but the ladies managed (as usual) to out- 
wit them, and to gratify curiosity in de- 
fiance of every precaution to the contrary. 
A number of them had either been placed 
intentionally on the other side of the river, or 
left there in consequence of all the men hav- 
ing come over to the show ; but our boats, 
in going out, had to pass within a few 
yards of their pier-head ; when finding 
themselves in almost exclusive possession 
of that bank, they left their station on a 
hill, ran down to the point, and had their 
peep, whilst their friends on the opposite 
shore were unable (had it been their inten- 
tion) to keep them in the back ground. 

About this period a mutual friendship 
began to exist between us ; confidence took 
place of timidity ; and now, instead of per- 
mitting only a few to visit the shore at a 
time, they fitted up the garden of a temple 
as a sort of general arsenal for us : the 
habitations of the priests were alloted as an 
hospital for the sick, whilst other tempo- 
rary buildings of bamboo were erected for 
the reception of our powder, which re- 



quired airing, and for various stores want- 
ing inspection and repair. The rope- 
makers, smiths, and other artificers, were 
established at a convenient spot, about a 
mile farther along the beach. They con- 
tinued their usual supplies, bringing us 
even fresh water on board in their boats ; 
and, understanding we required some wood 
for spars, they felled fir-trees, floated them 
down the river, and towed them along- 
side, singing their usual boat-song, which 
had a very plaintive and pleasing effect. 

The island of Lewchew * is about fifty- 
eight miles long and from twelve to fifteen 
broad; Napa-kiang, our position, (and 

* It is called by an infinity of names in books 
and charts^ such as Lekeyo^ Lieoo-Kieoo, Lequeyo, 
lieu-Kieu, Likeo, Ljeuchieux, Liquieux, and Loochoo ; 
none of which have the most distant resemblance to the 
real sound^ except the latter ; but as the first syllable is 
according to the pronunciation of the superior order of 
the natives^ liquid, as in Llewelyn, or the terminating 
syllables of Curlew and Pelew, for which loo would be 
unsuitable, so Lewchew is here adopted as the only mode 
of spelling, which conveys the true tone or accent of the 
word. It is often by the lower classes corrupted into 




within five miles of Kint-ching, the capital,) 
lying in lat. 2& 14' N., long. 127° 52' V E. 
This is its south-west point, the main body 
of the island extending from hence north a 
little eastwardly. It is washed on the one 
side by the Northern Pacific Ocean, and 
on the other by the Tung Hai, or Eastern 

The it>cks about it are all of the coral 
kind, and immense masses, some assuming 
very odd shapes, were seen every where 
along the sea-shore ; and many of the same 
formation were found on the higher land, 
at some distance from the beach, whose 
situation is not easily to be accounted for, 
unless we suppose them to haye been ele- 
vated by the force of volcanic fire. 

It is the principal island of a group of 
thirty-«ix, subject to the same monarch, 
and the seat of the government. The na- 
tives trace their history back to a period 
long anterior to die Christian era; but 
their first communication with the rest of 
the world, when their accounts became 
fully corroborated and undisputed, was 
about the year 605, when they were in- 



vaded by China, who found thein at that 
time — a time when England and the greater 
part of Europe were immersed in bar- 
barism — the same kind of people they are 
at the present day, with the exception of a 
few Chinese innovations ; or, at least, they 
appear to have altered bvjt in a very slight 
degree. Indeed, it is very obvious that a 
revolution in manners, and alteration of ha- 
bits, are by no means so likely to occur 
with a people thus living in an obscure and 
secluded state, as among those who have a 
wider intercourse with other nations. The 
only connexion which theLewchewans have 
had with their neighbours, and that but 
very limited, has been with Japan and 
China, frcim i;ieither of whom they were 
likely to receive any example of change. 

The clearest, and, perhaps, the only ac- 
co^r)t given of their history is by Su-poa- 
Koang, a Chinese doctor or philosopher, 
who va^f in 1719> sent as embassador to 
them *. The following is the substance of 
his report as to their origin : — " The Lew- 

H I H I ——I— ■ ■ I ■ I ■ r ■ II 1^ iiiiMi I ■ I ■ I II II, p I ^ 1 

* Vide Le^tres EdifiaoteSy tome xxiii. 

a 2 




" chewan tradition states, that, in the be- 
ginning, one man and one woman were 
produced in the great void or chaos. 
They had the joint name of Omo-mey- 
" kieou. From their union sprung three 
" sons and two daughters ; the eldest of the 
sons had the title of Tien-sun, or Grand- 
son of Heaven, and was the first king of 
" Lewchew ; the second was the father of 
the tributary princes ; the rest of the 
people acknowledge the third as their 
progenitor *. The eldest daughter had 
the title of Celestial Spirit ; the second 
the Spirit of the Sea. After the death of 
Tien-sun, twenty-five dynasties reigned 
successively in this country, occupy- 
ing (according to their story) a period of 
" 17,802 years previous to the time of 
" Chuntein, who commenced his reign in 
" 1187. This is their fabulous history, 
" of which they are very jealous ; but no- 
*' thing certain was known until 605, before 


* It seems rather unaccountable^ in this marvellous 
tradition, that the third son, to whom no wife is assigned, 
should have had the most numerous progeny. 





" which the inhabitants of Formosa and 
the adjacent islands were denominated 
by the Chinese the Oriental Barbarians^ 
In this year the emperor sent to examine 
" them ; but from want of interpreters, no 
*' clear account was obtained. They 
'^ brought back, however, some of the 
islanders to Sin-gan-foo, the capital of 
the province of Chen-si, and the seat of 
*V the court under the Sony dynasty. Some 
Japanese, who happened to be there, 
knew the people, and described them as 
" a race of barbarians. The Emperor 
" Yang-ti sent forthwith some who under- 
** stood their language to Lewchew, to 
'* command their homage, and acknow- 
" ledgment of him as their sovereign. The 
" prince of Lewchew haughtily rephed, 
" that he would own none as his superior. 
" A fleet with ten thousand men was now 
" fitted out from Amoi and the ports of Fo- 
" kien, which force, overcoming the ejfforts 
" of the islanders, landed at Lewchew; 
" and the king, who had put himself at the 
" head of his people to repel the enemy, 
" being killed, the Chinese burned the 


VoVaOB of H. M. 8. ALC]iSt*X 

*^ capital, and, cartying olBf five thousand 
*• of thie natives, as slaves, returiied to 
" China. From this, until 1291 , the Lew- 
" chewans were left unmolested, when Chit- 
" soo, an emperor of the YueA family » re- 
" viving his pretensiotis, fitted out a fleet 
•• against them from the ports of Fo-kieri ; 
" but, from various causes, it never pro- 
" ceeded further than the western coast of 
*• Fornio'sa, and froni thence rettirned un- 
*^ Successful to China. In the year 1372, 
Hong-ou, emperor of China, arid founder 
of the Ming dyhaitj, sent a great man- 
**' darin to Tsay-tou, wh6 goveriied in 
•* Tchon^chan, the country being *t this 
** period divided, in consequence of civil 
" disturbances, itito thre6 kingdoms, who, 
" in a private audience^ acquitted himself 
" with such address as t6 pfers\iade the 
'' km^todedal^MtfttfelftrilSyutarytoChma, 
^ aiid t6 i^eqttest of thtt empteifor the mves- 
** titttre of his estate. 

^'^ Having thus managed by jftn^e \<rbat 
** arms had beien unable to effect, theem- 
" peror took care to redeive, With great 
" distinction, the envoys stent by their 




master. They brought offi&rings of fine 
horses^ scented woods, sulphur, copper, 
" and tin, and were sent back again with 
** richi presents for tiie king and queen ; 
" among which was a gold seal. 

" The two kings of the other districts, 
Chan^pe and Chan-nan, followed the ex- 
ample of Tchpn^^han, and their submis- 
sion was most graciously received. 
Thirty ^six Chinese femilies wjere sent to 
live in Cheouli*, where grants of land 
'* were conceded to them ; here they taught 
" the Chinese written characters, intro- 
^^ duced Chinese books, and thei ceremonies 
^ in honour of Confucius. The sons of the 
^' Le^tx^ewan grandees were also seat to 
" Nankin to study Chinese, aEud were edu- 
^ cated with distinction, at the expense of 
" the: emperor. 

*^ TJoe reigns of Ou-ning and Tse-^chao, 
*? the wm and grandson of Tsay-tou, pre- 
** sented nothing extraordinary ; but that 

* That district of Tchon-chan in which the capital is 
situated^ and where we resided during our stay on the 

88 V0YA6£ OF H. M. S. ALCXSTE 

of Chang^pa-chi was marked by the re- 
union of Chan-pe and Chan-nan with 
'^ Tchon^chan into one kingdom, and the 
^^ government has since continued in the 
" hands of a single chief. Lewchew is 
'^ said henceforth to have had considerable 
^^ intercourse with China and Japan in the 
" way of conmierce, much to her adoantagej 
" and to have even mediated between those 
" two powers when misunderstandings had 
" occurred. 

" The famous Tay-cosama, however, 
emperor of Japan, whom the Chinese 
call ambitious, piratical, irreligious, cruel, 
and debauched, (because he pillaged 
their coasts,) sent a haughty letter to 
'^ Chang-ning, commanding him to transfer 
" his homage from China to Japan, which 
" Chang-ning as firmly refused. Notwith- 
" standing the death of Tay-cosama, the 
" Japanese fitted out a fleet at Satsuma, 
'* made a descent on Lewchew, took the 
" king prisoner, and carried him off^, hav- 
" ing plundered the palace, and killed one 
" of his near relations, who ^Iso resisted 
^^ the acknowledgment of the Japanescn 



During a captivity of two years, Chang- 
ning acquired the admiration of the 
captors by his unyielding firmness and 
constancy in refusing to swerve from his 
first allegiance, and they generously sent 
him back to his states. 
" The Tartar dynasty, soon after this, 
was placed, by conquest, on the throne 
of China, and made some alteration in 
the nature of the tribute to be paid, sti- 
pulating that envoys, in future, should 
be sent to Pekin only once in two years. 
Cang-hi paid much attention to the wel- 
fare of Lewchew; and his memory to 
this day is much respected by the peo- 
ple. It is said to be nearly a thousand 
years since the bonzes of the sect of Fo 
introduced their mode of worship into 
these islands, which has continued to the 
present time. 

" When they make a vow, it is not be- 
fore the statues or images of their idols ; 
but they burn incense, and, placing 
themselves in a respectful attitude before 
certain consecrated stones, which are to 
be seen in various public situations, they 




^ repeat some mystmous words, said to 
** have been dictated by the divine daugh- 
" ters of Omo-mey-kieou. They have also 
" among them a set of holy women, who 
" worship certain spirits denned powerful 
^^ among them, and who visit the sick, 
give medicines, and recite prayers. This 
seems to have given rise to the accusa- 
" tion of an old missionary at Japan, who 
said they practised sorcery and witch- 
craft. Cang^hi likewise introduced 
among them the adoration of a new 
deity, under Ae name of Tien-fey, or 
Celestial Queen. Polygamy is allowed 
here, as in China, but seldom practised. 
^^ Men and women of the same suriftame 
^ cannot intermarry. The kiftg can only 
take a wife from one of three gceat &mi- 
lies, wlia always hold the most distin- 
guished posts : there is also a fourth, of 
the highest consideration^ but with which 
the princes caxmot form an alliance^ be- 
** cause it is doubtful whether that family 
" is not itselfofthe royal line. Their chiefs 
are generally hereditary, but not always ; 
for men of merit are promoted, and all 




- ti 


" are liable to be degraded for improper 
" conduct. The king s revenue arises from 
" his own domains ; from imposts oa salt, 
" sulphur, coppelr, tin, attd several other 
** articles ; and from this income he defrays 
" the expenses of the statiej and the salaries 
** of the great officers. 

" These salaries consist nominally in a 
certain number of bags of rice ; but they 
ate paid generally in silks, and various 
other necessary articles of clothing and 
ifbod, in proportions equal to the valiie 
** of so many bags of that grain. All their 
** interior commerce or marketting is per- 
" fbrmed by the women and girls at re- 
" gulated times. They carry their little 
" loads tipoii their heads with lingular 
^* dexterity, consisting of the usual neces- 
^^ varies of life and weariiig-4ppaTel, which 
^ they eichattge for what they more im- 
rtiediately want, or fot tfe:e copper coin 
of China and Japan*. The men are 
" said to be neat workmen in gold, silver, 


'" '-■-'* -1 „ . - .. ^ 

* We saw no money among them. Lieut. Dwams on 
otie <K:cfidion observed k chief paymg a man for some- 



copper, and other metals ; and there are 
manufactories of silk, cotton, flax, and 
paper- They also build very good ves- 
sels, quite large enough to undertake 
" voyages to China and Japan, where their 
" barks are much esteemed. They have 
" adopted the Chinese calendar with res- 
" pect to the division of the month and 
" year. This island produces rice, wheat, 
" and all sorts of vegetables, in abund- 
ance*. The people of the coast are ex- 
pert fishermen, and the sea and rivers 
" are well furnished with fish. They are 
" famous divers, and obtain shells and 
mother-of-pearl, very much esteemed in 
China and Japan. 

They possess many woods proper for 
dyeing; and one tree in particular yields 
" an oil which is held in great repute. 
They have likewise a great variety of 
most delicate fruits, oranges, citrons? 




thing with a note^ which induced him to think they had 
paper money; but this note might have been an order for 
a bag of rice or piece of cloth. 

* The Sago-tree was also observed to be very plentiful. 


" lemons, long-y-ven^ ke-tchees^ grapes, Sfc. 
^' Wolves, tigers, and bears, are unknown ; 
" but they have many useful animals, such 
" as horses, water-dogs, black cattle, 
stags, poultry, geese, peacocks, pigeons, 
doves, ^c. 

The camphor, cedar, and ebony, are 
among the number of their trees ; and 
" they have also wood well fitted for ship- 
building, and for public edifices. They 
are represented as disdaining slavery, 
lying, and cheating. They are fond of 
games and amusements, and celebrate, 
with much pomp, the worship of their 
" idols, at the end and commencement of 
" the year ; and there exists much union 
" among the branches of families, who 
" give frequent and cheerful entertainments 
" to each other/' 

The ceremony of installation of the king 
of Lewchew is thus described: " When 
'^ the king dies, his heir sends an embassa- 
^' dor to the emperor, to make known that 
" circumstance, and to demand his inves- 
" titure. — Meantime the Lewchewans treat 
" as king and queen the prince and the 



" princess his wife, though it is not, ac- 
cording to the Pekin regulations, until 
after the installation that they assume 
" the titles. The emperor either sends 
^' from himself a qualified person to per- 
" form this ceremony, or grants full powers 
" to the Lewchewan embassador to do so 
" on his return. 

*^ If the former is determined upon, the 
" emperor orders the tribunal of ceremo- 
" nies to find a fit person to sustain with 
dignity the majesty of the Chinese epi- 
pire; and the choice falls on whom they 
" know the emperor wishes, a second being 
" named in the event of death or sic?k- 
" ness. The emperor, after approving the 
'' choice, admits the embassador to an 
^^ audience, and gives him the necessary 
instructions, and the presents intended 
for the king and queen. The mandarins 
** of Fo-kien are ordered to equip a vessel, 
" and to choose a captain, officers, sailors, 
" soldiers, and pilots, sometimes anjounting 
" to three hundred and fifty persons. The 
" embassador is conducted from court with 
'' great pomp to the capital of Forkien, 


" where he is lodged in a commodious 
^' palace, and treated with much distinc- 
'' tion. 

** He is embarked with great state, when, 
" after the usual ceremonies to propitiate 
" heaven, and the goddess Tien-fey, they 
^^ make sail. On their anchoring near 
" Napa-kiang, the king gives the necessary 
" orders for receiving the embassador, with 
" all the honours due to the title of Celestial 
" Envoys that is, to the envoy of the son of 
" heaven, or the emperor of China. The 
" princes and grandees repair to the port 
" in their court dresses. A number of ves- 
" sels, richly ornamented, conduct the 
stranger into harbour, where the embas- 
sador and suite land, and are attended 
" to his palace with great pomp by the 
" princes and grandees, who take care to 
" make such an appearance as to do ho- 
" nour to the nation. Every thing is regu- 
" lated with respect to the maintenance of 
" the embassador and retinue, who are all 
" permitted, even to the lowest domestic, 
the privilege of carrying a certain quan- 
tity of money, and of Chinese merchan- 




*^ disc, to make a little trade. In the time of 
" the Ming dynasty, the profits of the 
" Chinese were considerable at Lewchew; 
" at present only moderate. The em- 
bassador ordinarily piques himself on 
having no personal connexion with com- 
" merce*. 

" After having taken some repose, he 
" repairs to the grand hall, where he finds 
^^ a magnificent estrade^ on which he seats 
*^ himself. On a signal given, at the same 
** instant, the princes, ministers, and gran- 
" dees of the first order, placed according 
" to rank, make the nine prostrations to 
** salute the emperor. The embassador 
" stands; and, afi;erthe ceremony, makes 
" a profound reverence. When the chiefs 
** of the second and third class prostrate 
" themselves, he also stands, and after- 
wards presents his hand to them. On 
the performance of the inferior chiefs, 
" the embassador is seated, but afterwards 
*^ presents liis hand to them. This cere- 

* This is quite in the inflated style of these celestials, 
whilst in the practice of every thing that is sordid. 




*' monial finished, some grandees on the 
*^ part of the king come to congratulate 
** the embassador on his safe arrival. The 
" rest of the day is spent in repasts, public 
rejoicings, and concerts, in all the cities 
and neighbouring villages, and on board 
" the vessels. On a certain day the ^m- 
** bassador goes to the temple of. the god- 
dess Tien-fey, to return thanks for her 
protection, and from thence to the impe- 
rial palace^ where he performs the Chi- 
nese ceremonies, in honour of Confucius- 
On another day he repairs Mrith all his 
retinue to the royal hall, where are the 
tablets of the deceased kings ; the heir 
" to the throne also appearing, but as a 
" prince simply. 

" The embassador then performs, in the 
" name of the emperor, the Chinese marks 
of respect in honour of the deceased king, 
the predecessor of the reigning prince, 
" and also for his forefathers ; and presents 
" the odours, the silks, manufactures, and 
silver, sent by the emperor for that pur- 
pose. The prince then makes the nine 
prostrations to thank the emperor, and 






" inquires after the state of his healthy 
•* He next salutes the embassador, and 
" dines, familiarly, and without ceremony, 
" with him. When all is regulated for 
" the instalment, the embassador, with 
all his suite, and a great number of 
people, proceed to the palace. The 
" court is filled with lords and chieftains, 
^' richly attired, and ranged in due order. 
^ On his entrance, the embassador is r6- 
** ceived by the princes, and conducted, 
" with music sounding, to the royal hall, 
" where there is an elevated estrade for 
" the prince and princess, and a distin- 
** guished place for the embassador. All 
** the princes, grandees,' and ministers, 
" standing, the embassador reads, with^a 
** loud voice, the imperial diploma ; in 
^' which the emperor, after some eulogy 
" on the defunct sovereign, acknowledges 
** for king and queen thfe hereditary prince 
•^ and princess his wife. This declaration 
is accompanied by exhortations of the 
emperor to the new monarch, to govern 
according to law ; and to the peopk of 
^^ the thirty-six isles to be faithful in their 





allegiance. After it is read, the imperial 
patent is presented to the king, who 
transfers it to the minister, to be re- 
tained among the archives of the court. 
Then the king, queen, princes, ^.> 
make the nine prostrations, to salute and 
thank the emperor. The embassador 
" next displays the rich presents from his 
" master to the king and queen, when the 
" usual thanks are returned. Whilst the 
" embassador reposes himself for a short 
" time in an adjoining apartment, the king 
** and queen, seated on their thrones, re- 
ceive the homage of the princes, minis- 
ters, grandees, and deputies, of the 
thirty-six isles. The queen then retires, 
and the king entertains the embassador 
with much splendour. 

Some days afterwards, seated in the 
royal chair, borne by many porters, the 
king, followed by the princes and minis- 
^* ters, and a briUiant suite, goes to the 
*' hotel of the embassador. 

" The road is ornamented by triumphal 
" arches ; and at certain distances are 
^^ found tents, in which are placed fruits, 

H 2 





flowers, and perfumes^ Around the 
chair of the king are seven young girls^ 
on foot, carrying his flags and umbrellas. 
The princes, ministers, and grandees, 
are on horseback, 'and are emulous to 
distinguish themselves, on this occasion, 
by their superb dresses and numerous 
suite. , 

" The embassador, at the gate of the 
hotel, receives his majesty with great 
respect^ and leads him to the grand 
hall. The king now again salutes the 
emperor; after which he honours the 
embassador, by offering with his own 
hand wine and tea. .This the embas- 
sador declines ; and, returning the cup^ 
he takes one for himself, which he does 
not drink until after the king has first 
drank his. This ceremony finished, his 
majesty and suite return to the palace. 
He names, some days afterwards, an 
embassador to proceed to die court of 
the emperor, to thank his majesty, and to 
send him presents, a list of which is com- 
municated to the Chinese embassador, 
and he orders a vessel to be equipped. 


^ which accompanies that of the Chinese 
^ on its return. At last, the imperial 

envoy, having detennined the day of his 
departure, takes leave of the king ; and 
some time afterwards the latter proceeds 
to the hotel of- the embassador, to wish 
" him a happy voyage, and to make the 
" usual prostrations in honour of the em- 
^ peror, and to return him thanks. 

" During the sojourn of the embassador, 
^ the king gives him frequent entertain- 
^* ments ; sometimes in the grand palace ; 
** at others in his pleasure-houses ; and, 
^' occasionally, in water-parties. The 
** queen, princesses, and ladies, assist at 
" these ceremonies. They have music, 
" dancing, and comedies, with songs, in 
" praise of the imperial and royal families, 
" and of the embassador, ^c/' 

Such is the account ,of Snpoa-Koang; 
and, having observed a great part of what 
he relates to be true, it is but fair and 
reasonable to give him credit for what we 
Jiad not the opportunity of actually seeing. 
One thing appears very evident, — that these 
poor ; isjjanders have been much cajoled 



and humiliated, as well as encumbered 
with a load of ceremonies, very foreign 
to their nature, by the usurpation of the 

The dress of these people is as remark- 
able for its simplicity as it is for its ele- 
gance. The hair, which is of a glossy 
black, (being anointed with an oleaginous 
substance, obtained from the leaf of a 
tree,) is turned up from before, from be- 
hind, and on both sides, to the crown of 
the head, and there tied close down ; great 
care being taken that all should be per- 
fectly smooth ; and the part of the hair 
beyond the fastening, or string, being now 
twisted into a neat little top-knot, is there 
retained by two fasteners, called camesashee 
and usisasheej made either of gold, silver, 
or brass, according to the circumstances 
of the wearer ; the former of these having 
a little star on the end of it, which pointa 
forward. This mode of hair-dressing is 
practised with the greatest uniformity, 
from the highest to the lowest of the males, 
and has a very pleasing effect, whether 
viewed singly, or when diey are ^herec} 



together. At the age of ten years the boys 
are entitled to the usisasheej and at fifteen 
they wear both. Except those in office, 
who wear only a cap on duty, they appear 
to have no covering for the head, at least 
in fine weather. Interiorly, they wear a 
kind of shirt, and a pair of drawers, but 
over all a loose robe, with wide sleeves, 
and a broad sash round their middle. 
They have sandals on their feet, neatly 
formed of straw ; and the higher orders 
have also white gaiters, coming above the 
ancle. The quality of their robes depends 
on that of the individual. — The superior 
classes wear silk of various hues, with a 
sash of contrasting colour, sometimes inter- 
woven with gold,-~The lower orders make 
use of a sort of cotton stuff, generally of a 
chesnut colour, and sometimes striped, or 
spotted blue and whi|;e. 

There are nine ranks of grandees, or 
public officers j distinguished by their caps ; 
of which we observed four, — ^The highest 
noticed was worn by a member of the royal 
^^tmily, which was of a pink colour, with 
brigjit yellow lozenges.— The next in digpi|y 



was the purple ; then plain yellow ; and the 
red seemed to be the lowest. 

On the female attire we could make but 
little observation. — The higher ranks are 
said to wear (and some indeed were seen 
with) simply a loose flowing robe, without 
any sash ; the hair either hanging loose 
over the shoulders, or tied up over the 
left side of the head, the ends falling down 
again. The lower orders seemed to have 
petticoats scarcely deeper than a High- 
lander's kilt, with a short, but loose habit 
above. One lady, who very frequently 
promenaded at the nearest village, in front 
of the ships, appeared tp have her robe 
richly embroidered. 

The island of Lewchew itself is situate 
in the happiest climate of the globe.-— 
Refreshed by the sea-breezes, which, from 
its geographical position, blow over it at 
every period of the year, it is free from 
the extremes of heat and cold, which 
oppress many other countries ; whilst from 
the general configuration of the land, 
being more adapted to the production of 
fivers and streamlets than of bogs or 


marshes, one great source of disease in the 
warmer latitudes has no existence : and the 
people seemed to enjoy robust health; 
for we observed no diseased objects, nor 
beggars of any description, among them. 

The verdant lawns and romantic scenery 
of Tinian and Juan Fernandez, so well 
described in Anson's voyage, are here dis- 
played in higher perfection, and on a 
much more magnificent scale ; for cultiva- 
tion is added to the most enchanting 
beauties of nature. From a commanding 
height not far from the temple, the view is, 
in all directions, picturesque and delightful. 
On one hand are seen the distant islands, 
rising from a wide expanse of ocean, 
whilst the clearness of the water enables 
the eye to trace all the coral reefs, which 
protect the anchorage immediately below. 
To the south is the city of Napafoo, the 
vessels at anchor in the harbour, with their 
streamers flying; and in the intermediate 
space appear numerous hamlets scattered 
about on the banks of the rivers, which 
meander in the valley beneath; the eye 
being, in every direction, charmed by the 




varied hues of the luxuriant fohage around 
their habitations. Turning to the east, 
the houses of Kint-ching, the capital city, 
built in their pecuUar style, are observed, 
opening from among the lofty trees which 
surround and shade them, rising one above 
another in gentle ascent to the summit of 
a hill, which is crowned by the king's 
palace : the intervening grounds between 
JJapafoo and Kint-ching, a distance of 
some miles, being ornamented by a con- 
tinuation of villas and country-houses. 
To the north, as far as the eye can reach, 
the higher laud is covered with e;xten8ive 

Near this eminence, on the brow of a 
precipice overlopking the sea, is observed 
one of their consecrated groves, with the 
stonesi already noticed, upon which they 
present their offerings, amd where they call 
ijpon th^ir deities to be propitious in their 
voyages md other undertakings. Froni 
this spot, by a foot-path about half a mile 
inJengtb,^^^ije traveller is led to what seems 
^ply a litjl^jB wood ; on eatering which. 


mingling branches of the opposite trees, he 
passes along a serpentine labyrinth, inter- 
sected at short distances by others. Not 
far from each other, on either side of these 
walks, small wicker doors are observed, on 
opening any of which, he is surprised by the 
appearance of a court-yard and house, with 
the children, and all the usual cottage train, 
generally gamboling about ; so that, whilst 
a man fancies himself in some lonely and 
sequestered retreat, he is, in fact, in the 
middle of a populous, but invisible, village. 
Nature has been bountiful in all her 
gifts to Lewchew : for such is the felicity 
of its soil and climate, that productions of 
the vegetable kingdom, very distinct in 
their nature, and generally found in re- 
gions far distant from each other, grow 
here side by side. It is not merely, as 
might be expected, the country of the 
orange and the lime ; but the banyan of 
India and the Norwegian fir, the tea-plant 
and sugar-cane, all flourish together. In 
addition to many good qualities, not c^en 
found combined, this island can also boast 
its river^i and seciu^ harbours; and lastb 



though not least, a worthy, a friendly, and 
a happy race of people. 

Many of these islanders displayed a 
spirit of intelligence and genius, which 
seemed the more extraordinary, considering 
the confined circle in which they live ; 
such confinement being almost universally 
found to be productive of narrowness of 
mind. Our friends here were an exception 
to the general Twle.—Maddera Cosyongy one 
of our most constant and intimate friends, 
acquired such proficiency in the English 
language, in the course of a few weeks, 
as to make himself tolerably understood. 
He evidently came on board, in the first 
instance, as a spy upon our conduct, 
before they were satisfied that we meant 
no harm ; and no man was ever better 
adapted for this duty; for, as his conci^ 
liatory and pleasing manner won upon all 
hearts, he had therefore a natural access 
every where ; and, had ^* stratagems or 
schemes'' existed, he of all others was the 
most likely to. have discovered them. 

Not assuming . Jiis proper character, 
Xwhich was that, .of a . man of; some . dist- 


tinction), until his mind was satisfied about 
us, and then doing so with frankness, is 
a proof that such were his original motives. 
To acquire our tongue, he marked the 
sound of any English word for the most 
familiar articles of the table, or terms of 
conversation, and noted them in symbols 
of his own language, with their significa- 
tion, which enabled him, with slight re- 
ference to his vocabulary, to manage with- 
out having recourse to the interpreter. If 
• he happened to be walking on shore with 
any of the officers, he would not lose the 
sound or meaning of a word because he had 
not his book with him, but scratched it on 
the leaf of a tree, and transcribed it at his 
leisure. His first attempt to connect a 
sentence was rather sudden and unexpected. 
Rising to go away one evening after his 
usual lesson, he slowly articulated, " You 
*' give me good wine, — I tank you, — I go 
" shore/^— He delighted in receiving in- 
formation, and his remarks were always 
pertinent. The map of the world, with 
the track of the ship across the various 
oceans from England to Lewchew, with th§ 



different intervening continents and islands 
were pointed out and explained to him, 
which he, as well as others, seemed to trace 
with peculiar care, and at last, in a great 
degree, to comprehend, although the sub- 
ject was, in the first instance, entirely new 
to them, for they certainly had no idea of 
the vast extent or figure of the globe. He 
was gay or serious, as occasion required, 
but was always respectable ; and of Maddera 
it might be truly said, that he was a gen-» 
tleman, not formed upon this model, or 
according to that rule, but " stamped as 
*' such by the sovereign hand of Nature/' 

They all seemed to be gifted with a sort 
of politeness which had the fairest claim to 
be termed natural ; for there was nothing 
constrained — nothing stiff or studied in it. ' 

Captain Maxwell having one day invited 
a party to dine with him, the health of the 
king of Lewchew was drank in a bumper': 
*— one of them, immediately addressing 
himself with much warmth and feeling to 
the interpreter, desired him to state how 
much they felt gratified by such a compli- 
ment; that they would take cai* to tell it 


to every body when they went on shore ; 
and proposed, at the same tinne, a bumper 
to the king of the Engelees. A Chinese 
mandarin, under the like circumstances, 
would, most probably, have chin-chinned 
(that is, clenched his fists) as usual ; he 
would have snivelled and grinned thi^ esta^ 
blished number of times, and bowed his head 
in slavish submission to the bare mention 
of his tyrant^s name ; but it never would 
hav^ occurred to him to have given, in his 
turn, the health of the sovereign of England, 
This superiority of manner brought to 
our recollection the boorishness of the Chi- 
nese near the Pei-ho. Certain mandarins, 
who were not of sufficient button * to be 
entertained in the company of the em- 
bassador, were invited to dine with the 
officers ; and some. of them, after gnawing 
the leg of a fowl, would without any cere- 
mony thrust the remains of it into any 
other dish near them ; and, instead of foU 

♦ Their rank is denoted by the colour and quality of 
the buttons or balls upoa their caps. 


lowing our example, (as the Lewcliewansr 
uniformly did), in pouring out the wine 
into glasses, or, indeed, in any way ac- 
commodating themselves to our style, they 
would take up, with both hands the de- 
canter, and, applying it to their greasy 
mouths, thereby secure the exclusive pos- 
session of that bottle. 

These islanders are represented as being 
remarkable for their honesty and adherence 
to truth, and to this character they appear 
to be fully entitled. The chiefs informed 
us that there was little probabihty of their 
stealing any thing ; but, as iron implements 
were a great temptation, they begged that 
none might be left carelessly about.7— 
Although, however, the rope machinery 
and many other articles remained for 
weeks unguarded on the beach, and their 
opportunities on board were numberless, 
yet not one theft occurred during the whole 
of our sojourn among them. 

That proud and haughty feeling of na- 
tional superiority, so strongly existingamong 
the common class of British seamen, which 
induces them to hold all foreigners cheap, 



and to treat them with contempt ; often 
caUing them outlandish lubbers in iheir 
ozsm country^ was, at this island, completely 
subdued and tamed, by the gentle manners 
and kind behaviour of the most pacific 
people upon earth. Although completely 
intermixed, and often working together, 
both on shore and on board, not a single 
quarrel or complaint took place on either 
side, during the whole of our stay ; on the 
contrary, the natives were always seen in 
cheerful association around the sailors' 
mess tfibles, and each succeeding day 
added to friendship and cordiality. 

Notwithstanding it was an infringement 
of their established rules for strangers to 
land upon their coasts, yet they granted in 
this respect every possible indulgence, and 
conceded the point as far as they could ; 
for their dispositions seenied evidently at 
war with the unsocial law. When any of 
the officers wandered into the country be- 
yond the bounds prescribed, they were 
never rudely repulsed, as in China or 
Morocco, but mildly entreated to return, 
as a favour to those in attendance, lest 



they should incur blame ; and, as this ap- 
peal was powerful, it was never disregarded. 

They erected little temporary bai^boo 
watch-houses, or sheds, wherethose engaged 
in this duty resided ; and, as we rambled 
£vbout, handed us over from one po$lL to 
another. In these houses they always 
pressed the officers to partake of their fare, 
which was often very good, especially a kind 
of hung beef, which they have the art of 
curing extremely well. 

They appeared to be raiiich accustomed 
to dine in the fields, and for tliis purpose 
had small japanned boxes, containing 
sliding drawers for the various viands, 
which boys generally carried, on the end of 
bamboos, to wherever they thought proper 
to assemble. The mildness of the climate^ 
and the beauty of the scenery, rendered 
these pic-nic parties e^jt^eedipgly delight- 
ful ; and, mingled together in their sheds, 
or upder some spreading tree, the officers 
s^ud the islanders have often presented a 
happy group. 

One man, very ofteui accompanii^d by 
Qerooy or (as he was sonjetimes termed, from 


having a constant smile upon his coun- 
tenance) the laughing mandarin, seeraeid 
to carry about with him a constant supply 
of these refreshments, and chazzi, a liqueur, 
which led us to believe that he had been 
deputed for the express purpose of paying 
us attention. 

The sudden vicissitudes of weather to 
which we had been exposed; by leaving 
England during extreme cold, and passing 
suddenly into the torrid zone, then imme- 
diately afterwards into the cold raw climate 
of the southern Atlantic ; meeting with heat 
again at the Cape of Good Hope ; thea 
crossing in rather a high latitude the chill;^ 
southern ocean ; and, quickly followirig that, 
appearing on the burning coast of Java ; 
might, in fact, be said to have exposed us, 
in the short period of four months, to the 
eflfects of three summers and three winters ; 
and proved, as might naturally be sup* 
posed, extremely trying to the health of 
the men. 

On our arrival at Lewchew, our cases 
of sickness, though not numerous, were 
severe ; and to the kindness of the natives 

I 2 



may, iu a great measure, be attributed their 
recovery. They were not only comfortably 
lodged, but the higher class of people* 
daily attended, inquiring into tiieir wants, 
giving additional coogas or eggs, and other 
delicacies, to those whose cases more par- 
ticularly required them, and paying a 
cheering attention to the whole ; for theirs 
was a substantial, not a cold or ostentatious, 

A young man, whose case had long been 
hopeless, died here. On that night a coffin 
was made by our own carpenters, whilst 
their people dug a grave, in the English 
manner, in a small burial-ground under 
some trees near the landing-place. 

Next morning we were astonished to find 

** One elderly man, whom Mr. Fisher (the assistant 
surgeon), who was always at the hospital, thought to be a 
physician, wrote something at the desk, which Mr. Fisher 
concluded was a prescription. On translating it afterwards 
at Canton it turned out to be a moral maxim, '' Let not 
the present day be passed in idleness.—* The days of our 
youth will not return. — By being diligent and studious 
we arrive at offices of [rank." — (Literally) " We ride on 
horseback, and wear embroidered clotKea." 


a number of the principal inhabitants clad 
in deep mourning (white robes with black 
or blue sashes), ready to attend the fune- 
ral. The captain came on shore with the 
division of the ship^s company to which the 
man belonged, and proceeded to the garden 
where the body lay. The messmates of 
the deceased bore the coffin, covered with 
the colours ; the seamen ranged themselves 
two and two, in the rear of it ; next were 
the midshipmen ; then the superior officers ; 
and, last of all, the captain, as is usual in 
military ceremony of this kind. The na- 
tives, who had been watching attentively 
this arrangement, observed the order of 
precedence to be inverted ; and without 
the least hint being given, but with that 
unassuming modesty and delicacy which 
characterize them, when the procession 
began to move placed themselves in front 
of the coffin, and in this order marched 
slowly to the grave. The utmost decorum 
and silence prevailed whilst the funeral 
service was performing by the chaplain, 
although there was a considerable con- 
course of people ; and afterwards they 



marched back, but in diflferent ord^r, to 
the garden. 

Here they tool^ the direptions for thp 
shape of a stone intended to be placed at 
thp head of a tomb^ which, as a mark of 
respect, th^y had already begun to erect 
oyer the grave. This was Sioon finished; 
and the shape of the English letters being 
drawift]i Indian ink, they, notwithstand- 
ing the simplicity of their tools, cvit out 
with nauch neatness the following epitaph, 
with which, when explained to them, they 
seemed to be highly gratified : — 

Here lies buried, 

Aged Twenty-One Years, William Hares, Seaman, 

Of His Britannic Majesty's ship Alceste. 

Died Oct. 15, \^\6. 

This Monument was erected 

By the King 

And Inhabitants 

Of this most hospitable Island. 

The day aft^r the interment they apr 
peared at the tomb, with their priests, ajad 
performed the funeral service according to 
the rites of their own religion. There is 
not an act of these excellent and intereSitiii\g 


people which the mind has not pleasure in 
contemplating and recollecting. Not satis- 
fied with having smoothed the path of 
death, they carried their kind regards even 
beyond the grave ! 

Of our religion they could form no idea, 
nor was it possible to explain it to them. 
They seemed at first to consider us as 
worshippers of the sun or moon, and, of 
course, our astronomers as high priests, 
from seeing them busied about an obser- 
vatory which had been erected in out 
garden, where there was a large telescope 
for the examination of the heavenly bodies. 

One Sunday a number of them were 
observed, during divine service, peeping 
through the quarter-deck ports, but were 
not noticed in sufiScient time to invite 
them in. 

Captain Maxwell, in riding one morning 
to inspect the progress of the artificers, by 
the stumbling of his horse, which fell among 
the rocks, not only fractured the bone, but 
badly dislocated the joint of his fore-finger. 
Some of his Lewchewan friends, who were 
near him, ran to the next village for one of 




their surgical professors. He soon arrived, 
and, after much salutation, proceeded to 
examine the injury, (the dislocation having 
been in the interim reduced by the coxswain 
pulHng upon it,) and said that he would 
come on board the ship, whither the cap- 
tain was then proceeding, in an hour, with 
the applications he thought necessary for it. 
At the time appointed, one of the chiefs, 
with this surgeon, and another more in the 
character of a physician, with their retinue, 
some of them bearing a medicine-chest, 
made their appearance alongside. The in- 
jury being again examined, (and it having 
been previously decided that they were to 
have the management of the cure, under 
surveillance^ in order to observe how they 
would act,) a fowl was killed with much 
form, and skinned, and a composition of 
flour and eggs, with some warm ingredients 
about the consistence of dough, was put 
round the fractured part, (which had the 
effect of retaining it in its position,) and the 
whole enclosed in the skin of the fowl. As 
this fowl appeared to have been sacrificed, 
its skin being applied to enclose the vvhole 


was most probably meant to act as a 

The manual part finished, the physician 
proceeded to examine the general state of 
health, and the pulse appeared to be his 
chief, and indeed only guide, in this respect. 
The arm was laid bare to the shoulder, 
and he applied his fingers with great atten- 
tion, and with as much solemnity as ever 
issued from Warwick-lane, to the course 
of the artery, and at all parts of the arm 
where he could feel it beat, to ascertain 
whether it was every where alike; and, 
lest there should be any mistake in this 
point, the other arm underwent the same 
investigation ; the whole party looking all 
the while extremely grave. Having now 
decided as to the medicines necessary on 
this occasion, his little chest was brought 
forward, with his Pharmacopoeia, and a sort 
of Clinical Guide, directing the quantity 
and quality of the dose. 

His chest was extremely neat, its exterior 
being japanned black, with a number of 
partitions in it, again subdivided, so as to 
contain about a hundred and eighty dif- 


ferent articles (quite enough in all con- 
science, even among the greatest hypo- 
chondriacs and drug-swallowers) ; but they 
were fortunately all simples, being a col- 
lection of wood-shavings, roots, seeds, and 
dried flowers of his own country. There 
appeared also some ginseng, a product of 
Tartary and Corea, much in vogue in these 
parts. Small portions of the specified 
articles were measured out with a silver 
spatula, and put up in little parcels, and 
directions were now issued as to the mode 
of boiling and drinking the decoction. 
Next day they were highly delighted to 
hear the good effect of their medicines, al- 
though, (as many poor doctors are cheated 
by cunning patients), they had never been 
taken. A new apphcation was now brought 
for the finger, termed a fish-poultice; so 
composed as to look, and indeed to smell, 
something like currant-jelly. 

Having carried on this scheme for a few 
days, they were then informed that the 
finger was so much better as to render their 
attendance unnecessary any longer; and, 
as a reward for their services, they were 


presented with some little articlen^^ ajacj 
among others, as an addition to the chest, 
some spirits of hartshorn, displaying to 
th^m its effects on tlie olfactory organs, 
with which they were equally astonished 
and pleased ; some spirits of lavender and 
oil of mint, they also considered a great 
acquisition. The physician, nipre espe- 
cially> seemed to be a very respectable 
man, and was treated as such by those 
about him. 

Their practice scenes to be a good deal 
derived from the Chinese, for their notion 
of the circulation of the blood, or rather 
their having no correct notion about it, is 
the same. Neither have they any idea of 
anatomy from actual observation, and, of 
course, the greater operations cannot be 
undertaken. One man only was examined 
by Mr. Rankin, who had lost his aim, and 
his, stump was rather of the rude kind. 

Some corn was left with them, which, 
they promised to cultivate; and fortu- 
nately Captain Hall had some English 
potatoes, which were likely to be pro- 
ductive, and the mode of planting them 


was particularly described. Their own, or 
sweet potatoes (convolvulus batatus) with 
which they supplied us, contain a great 
quantity of saccharine matter, and are 
extremely nutritious. Their fields were 
extremely neat, and their furrows arranged 
with much regularity by a plough of a 
simple construction drawn by bulls, assisted 
occasionally by the use of a hoe ; and 
they practised irrigation in the culture of 
their rice. A young bull of English breed 
(though calved on the island) was pre- 
sented to the chief authorities by Captain 
Maxwell, leaving them also a cow (having 
two on board), so that it is possible the 
next visitors who touch at Lewchew may 
find a larger, though they cannot find a 
better, race of cattle. 

The mod^; of dancing of these people 
may, strictly speaking, be termed hopping ; 
for they jump about upon one leg only, 
keeping the other up, and changing occa- 
sionally, making a number of extravagant 
motions, and clapping with their hands, 
singing at the same time their dancing 
song. According to our notions, this was 


their only ungraceful action. A number 
of them thus engaged, more especially 
when joined by the officers, (who must 
needs acquire their style,) formed rather a 
grotesque assembly. They attempted our 
mode of country-dancing, and managed, 
considering it was necessary to make use 
of both feet, tolerably well. 

The Lewchewans are a race of people 
of very small figure ; the average height of 
the men not exceeding five feet two inches 
at the utmost. Almost the whole animal 
creation here is of diminutive size, but 
all excellent in their kind. Their bullocks 
seldom weighed more than 350lbs., but 
they were plump and well-conditioned, 
and the beef very fine; their goats and 
pigs were reduced in the same proportion, 
their poultry seeming to form the only 
exception. However small the men may 
be, they are sturdy, well-built, and ath- 
letic. The ladies we had no opportunity 
of measuring, but they appeared to be of 
corresponding stature. 
. These islanders, most probably, origi- 
nated from Japan or Corea. They have a 


good deal of the Corean lineaments, but 
rather milder, and softened down. They 
are obviously not of Chinese origin, having 
nothing whatever of that drm^ and elon- 
gated eye which peculiarly distinguishes 
the latter ; nor would it seetti that the few 
Chinese and their descendants settled on 
the island freely mixed with the native 
Lewchewans, the national features, an<i the 
natural disposition of the two people, being 
perfectly distinct, and differing in every 
respect. Neither have they any n^ixture of 
Indian or Malayan blood, being quite as 
fair as the southern Europeans ; even those 
who are most exposed being scarcely so 
swarthy as the same class of society iii 
Spain or Portugal. Nothing could eicfeed 
their astonishment at seeing a negro we 
had on board. They seemed to imagine 
at first that he waiS painted, and tri^d in 
vain to wash' hini white. 

The Chinese language is learn* by a few^ 
at* the French is in ou* own couMry ; but 
the Bonzes, or priests, who are also school- 
masters, teach the boys their native lan- 
guage, which is a dialect of the Jaflasielde, 



and is rather soft and harmonious. They 
have nothing of that hesitation in utterance, 
or appearance of choking, which is observed 
in the former, often requiring the action of 
the hands to assist the tongue*. The orders 
and records of government are in their own, 
or Japanese, character ; but they have books 
in the Chinese language. 

They burn the bodies of their dead, and 
deposit their bones in urns, (at least in our 
neighbourhood,) in natural vaults, oi^ ca- 
verns of the rocks along the sea-shore. 
The graves of the few Chinese residents 
here are formed in their own style. 

Crimes are said to be very unfrequent 
among them, and they seem to go perfectly 
unarmed, for we observed no wariike in- 
struments of any description ; and our 
guns, shot,^ and musketry, appeared to be 
objects of great wonder to them. It must 
have been the policy of the Chinese to 
disarm them ; for it appears that, in the 

* In this respect a Chinese seems to resemble a 
Frenchman ; of whom it is said^ that if his hands are 
tied he cannot speak« 



first instance, they defended themselves 
nobly against their attacks, as well as those 
of the Japanese. Not even a bow or arrow 
was to be seen ; and, when they observed 
the effect of fowling-pieces in the hands of 
some of the gentlemen, they begged they 
might not kill the birds, which they were 
always glad to see flying about their houses ; 
and if we required them to eat, they would 
send in their stead an additional quantity 
of fowls on board every day. An order 
was immediately issued by the commanding 
officer to desist from this sort of sporting. 

The people of Tatao and the north-eastern 
islands are reported to have been in pos- 
session of books previous to the Chinese 
attack on Grand Lewchew, and to have been 
even more polished than the inhabitants 
of the principal island. Tatao and Ki-ki-ai 
are said to produce a sort of cedar, termed 
Jdenmou by the Chinese, and iseki by the 
natives, which is considered incorruptible, 
and brings a great price, the columns of the 
palaces of the grandees being generally 
formed of it. 

A remarkable production is found on 


this island, about the size of a cherry-tree, 
bearing flowers, which, alternately on the 
same day, assume the tint of the rose or 
the lily, as they are exposed to the sun- 
shine or the shade. The bark of this tree 
is of a deep green, and the flowers bear a 
resemblance to our common roses. Some 
of our party, whose powers of vision were 
strong (assisted by vigorous imaginations) 
fancied, that by attentive watching, the 
change of hue from white to red, under 
the influence of the solar ray, was actually 
perceptible to the eye ; — that they altered 
their colour, however, in the course of a 
few hours was very obvious. 

The vessels of these islands, in the gene- 
ral appearance of their hulls and plan of 
rigging ?ind sails, are precisely the same as 
those we had observed throughout the whole 
of our track from the Gulf of Pe-tche-lee to 
Napa-kiang. They had, in common use, 
canoes hollowed from the trunk of a tree, 
much the same in shape as those of other 
parts of the world where they are employed, 
and of sufficient size to contain easily from 
six to eight or ten people. For purposes 



of heavier burden, they had boats strongly 
built, and rather flat-bottomed. 

In these boats they brought our water, 
bullocks, and other stock, on board. The 
water was not sent in barrels, but in open 
tubs, and baled from these into our casks. 

During our stay here, the Lyra was de- 
tached by the Commodore, in consequence 
of the people having told us that there was 
a closer and more secure harbour to the 
northward, to circumnavigate and examine 
the coast of the great island ; which service 
being performed, she rejoined us at Napa- 
kiang, in seven days. 

The state of cultivation was represented 
as very fine on Sugar-loaf Island, (that 
which we first made on the day of our ar- 
rival), and a town was observed, which had 
a very handsome appearance from the sea. 
Trees, as usual, filled up the interstices 
between the houses, which rose from the 
water-side to the foot of the high land. 

About twelve miles easterly from this 
island they anchored near an islet, which 
was named Herbert's Isle ; and from thence 
proceeded in the boats to examine what 


seemed at first view to be the mouth of a 
river. Within this place the depth was not 
less than ten fathoms, the whole passage 
being narrow, and the direction tortuous ; 
in fact they here discovered a harbour, 
not inferior in any respect, and in some 
superior, to Port Mahon, in Minorca. 
The banks of this winding arm of the sea 
are high rocks, overgrown with chmbing 
plants and flowers. It has, moreover, the 
advantage of Mahon of having a second 
outlet or communication with the sea: it 
being discovered that an island in the mouth 
of a deep indent in the coast of the main 
island formed a circumnavigable passage, 
with safe anchorage in every part of it, and 
a sufficient depth of water for the largest 
line-of-battle ships, with good holding 
ground. It was named Port Melville. 

In romantic glens, formed by the opening 
of the rocks on its right bank, were observed 
several little villages, charmingly situated ; 
and the inhabitants were found to be of 
the same kind and obliging disposition as 
on every other part of the island. 

The north-eastern parts of the great 

K 2 



Lewchew would appear not to be so popu- 
lous, and therefore not so much cultivated, 
as the south-western side, or Cheouli, a 
greater extent of forest land being noticed ; 
and on the western side also seemed to be 
the best and safest places for anchorages. 

A few days previous to our leaving the 
island, intimation was sent that a man of 
the first distinction (one of the princes, and 
said to be nearest heir to the crown) in- 
tended paying a visit to the ship. He was 
carried down to the mouth of the little river, 
opposite to the anchorage, in a close chair, 
or palanquin, amidst an immense concourse 
of people, who had flocked from all parts 
to this spot. He embarked in great state, 
in their own boats, with their flags flying. 
He was saluted, on his approach to the 
ships, by seven guns from each, and re- 
ceived on board the Alceste with every 
possible mark of respect and attention ; 
the rigging being manned, and the officers 
in full dress. He was above the usual size 
of the Lewchewans, and had rather more 
of the European cast of countenance. His 
robe was of a dark pink-coloured silk ; the 



cap rather of a lighter hue, with bright 
yellow lozenges on it. In his mien and 
deportment there was much dignified sim- 
plicity ; for, although his carriage was that 
of a man of high rank, it was totally un- 
mixed with the least appearance of hau- 
teur ; and his demeanour was, altogether, 
extremely engaging. 

As he passed along the decks, his own 
people saluted him by kneeling ; clasping 
the hands before their breasts and bowing 
the head. He examined minutely every 
thing about the ship, and seemed equally 
pleased and surprised with all he saw. 
An eye witness* of this scene bears testi- 
mony to two very interesting traits of cha- 
racter in this personage : — 

" He had heard of the Boatswain's wife, 
" and asked to see her ; the lady in her best 
" dress was presented to him ; he stood for 
" about half a minute looking at her with 
a pleased surprise, and then, as if sud- 
denly recollecting that this was some- 


* Vide Captain Hall's Narrative. 



" what rude, he drew his fan from his 
" breast, and, with an air of the utmost po- 
" Hteness, held it towards her; and upon 
" Mrs- Loy curtsying in acknowledgment, 
" he sent it to her by Maddera*/' 

" While looking over the books and 
" other things in the cabin, a picture of 
" his majesty King George III. was shewn 
" to him. As the interpreter was not pre- 
sent, we could not immediately explain 
who it was intended to represent, till it 
" occurred to us to join our hands and 
" bow to it in the Lewchewan manner. 
" The prince instantly saw what was 
" meant, and, turning towards the picture, 
" made a low and respectful obeisance.^' 

After joining in a sumptuous collation 
in the cabin, he took his leave with the 
same honours as when he came on board, 
having previously invited the captain and 
officers to an entertainment on shore. The 


* Tliere was a delicacy of manner here which marked 
the real gentleman, and evinced perfect good breeding 
One of our stay-wearing animals would have stared her 
out of countenance. 



day appointed for this feast happening to 
bq the 25th of October, the anniversary 
of our venerable Sovereign's accession to 
the throne, a royal salute was fired, at sun- 
rise, by both ships ; at noon the standard 
was hoisted, the ships dressed in colours, 
and another salute fired ; after which the 
boats, with their flags flying, containing 
the captains and every oflScer that could 
possibly be spared, proceeded into Napa- 

They were received precisely as on the 
former occasion, except that the number 
of grandees was greater, and there ap- 
peared a higher degree of state. The 
prince personally met the party at the gate, 
and conducted them into the hall. Three 
tables were laid close to each other ; the 
first for the great man and the captains, the 
second for the superior officers, and the 
third for the young gentlemen- This prince, 
or chief, did the honours of his own table, 
occasionally directing his attention to the 
others ; but a man of some rank was added 
to each of them, for the purpose of seeing 
the strangers properly treated, as well as 



to pass and proclaim the toasts. For 
this purpose they were allowed to be 
seated, all the rest standing round the 
room, but, at the same time, joining 
heartily in the general mirth and glee. 

The healths of our King and Royal 
Family were given with much respect, and 
the anniversary of His Majesty^s accession 
was a day of real jubilee at Napafoo. 
The sovereign of Lewchew, the queen and 
princes, were proposed by our party ; 
whilst our hosts (never deficient in polite- 
ness) toasted the wives and children of their 
friends the Engelees. In dining on board 
the ship. Captain Maxwell had given con- 
fectionary to those who were married, in 
parcels proportioned to the number of 
children thej'^ had ; and on this occasion 
they returned the compliment. In the dis- 
tribution of these sweetmeats, the grey- 
beards were highly amused on observing 
some of the young midshipmen become 
suddenly possessed of wives and large 

Some personal presents from the cap- 
tains were on this day offered to the chiefs. 


consisting of various articles, as on the 
former occasion, adding some damask 
table-cloths, and elegantly cut decanters 
and glasses, which they seemed greatly to 
admire. Specimens of their manufacture 
in cloth were sent on board the ships in 
return . 

At their departure, the prince attended 
our party nearly to the landing-place ; and, 
when about to take his leave, two small 
additional presents (at the suggestion of 
Captain Hall) were given to him, as me- 
morials. One was a very neat pocket 
thermometer (the use of the larger ones 
having been explained to him on board), 
and the other a cornelian seal set in gold, 
with a riband attached to each. They 
were hung round his neck ; and the cere- 
mony, being in public, had the appearance 
of investing him with an order, with which 
he, as well as the numerous spectators, 
seemed to be highly gratified. As the boats 
shoved off from the landing-place, the 
crews, whom they had handsomely enter- 
tained, gave them three cheers, which they 
returned in their own style of salutation; 




and in this manner followed the boats 
along the pier, with every demonstration 
of respect, to the mouth of the river. 

They had sent on board the ship a great 
number of coloured paper lanterns, for 
the purpose of illuminating her at night, 
in honour of our King. This was done 
after dark, the lanterns being regularly 
ranged along the yards and rigging, the 
main-deck ports illuminated, sky-rockets 
thrown up, and blue lights burnt at the 
yard-arms, bowsprit, and spanker- boom 
iends, with B^feu-de-joie of musquetry, thrice 
repeated round the ship. The whole had 
a very brilHant effect from the shore, where 
thousands of the natives had collected to 
view this display. 

The occurrences of this day, so novel 
and remarkable, will often be recalled with 
delight by all who witnessed the pleasing 
scene of two people differing widely in 
national manners, language, and dress; 
distinct, in fact, in every thing that is 
exterior, yet so harmoniously united in 
hearty good-will and convivial friendship. 

The king himself never made his appear- 


ance (at least publicly), but about this 
time a letter was written by him, and pre-^* 
sented to Captain Maxwell, to be delivered 
to our Sovereign ; the purport of which 
was to state the happiness he felt in having 
had an opportunity of affording an asylum 
to his ships, and expressing a hope that 
the attentions he had been able to shew 
them during their stay at his island, might 
prove satisfactory to the King of the 

About this time the boatswain's wife of 
the Alceste, who had been a good deal on 
shore, and was much noticed by the higher 
class of people, had a splendid proposal 
made by a deputation from some great man, 
to remain behind ; a grand house to live in, 
and all manner of finery and attentions. 
Great offers were also made to the boat- 
swain to induce him to comply with this 
bargain ; but (after two days' considera- 
tion) the negotiation was broken off on the 
part of the husband, who refused to part 
with her. These proposals most likely 
came from the king, for it is not probable 
that any subject could have entered into a 



treaty of this sort. In forming opinions, 
however, on this subject, the circumstance 
of the prince who visited the ship, having 
very courteously presented her with a fan, 
was not forgotten. 

A young lady of high rank, who had a 
great curiosity to see this Inago-Engelee^ 
or Englishwoman, was brought to her one 
day when she was quite alone, by some of 
the gentlemen who were in the habit of 
visiting the ship. She walked round her 
for a considerable time, eyeing her with 
great appearance of surprise. On Mrs, Loy 
advancing to shake hands with her, she at 
first timorously shrunk behind her own 
countrymen, who smiled at her alarm, and 
seemed to explain to her the meaning of 
this ceremony. She was dressed in a silken 
robe, and wore her hair in the loose manner 
already described. 

A very polite invitation was likewise 
given to this Englishwoman to visit the 
interior of the city ; but etiquette would not 
permit her to accept it, unless some of her 
own officers were asked to accompany 



The marriages of this country are not 
managed blindfold, as in China ; but the 
young people are permitted to make their 
own choice, and to communicate without 
reserve. When they were uncertain of our 
designs on our first arrival, it appeared 
that some order was given to keep the 
women in the back ground ; but, the fears 
which occasioned that measure were daily 
subsiding, for, on walking through the in- 
visible village some days before we left the 
island, there seemed to be no appearance 
of timidity or concealment. Among them- 
selves, from all we could learn, they are 
under as few restrictions as any other 
women in the world ; and if the kind man- 
ner in which the men treated their children 
be any criterion whereby to judge of their 
conduct to their wives, it indicated the full 
enjoyment of domestic happiness. 

The period of our departure being now 
fixed, all the stores were embarked on the 
evening of the 26th October. This night 
Maddera visited the Alceste, and remained 
longer than usual in the gun-room, inter- 
changing with the oflScers various little 


articles, to be retained by each as memo- 
rials of the friendship which existed be- 
tween them : a friendship of that kind, 
which neither distance from each other, or 
length of time, is likely to diminish. 

The next morning, as the ships un- 
moored, the Lewchewans, as a mark of 
respect, arrayed themselves in their best 
apparel, and, proceeding to the temple, 
oflered up to their gods a solemn sacrifice, 
invoking them to protect the Engelees^ to 
avert every danger, and restore them in 
safety to their native land ! In the manner 
of this adieu there was an air of sublimity 
and benevolence combined, by far more 
touching to the heart than the most refined 
compliment of a more civilized people. It 
was the genuine benignity of artless nature, 
and of primitive innocence. Immediately 
following this solemnity, our particular 
friends crowded on board to shake hands, 
and say Farewell ! whilst the tears which 
many of them shed, evinced the sincerity 
of their attachment. Even hard-faced 
Buonaparte was not unmoved ; and, as the 
ships got under weigh, they lingered along- 


side in their canoes, displaying every sign 
of affectionate regard. 

We stood out to seaward ; and, the breeze 
being favourable, this happy island soon 
sunk from the view ; but it will be long re- 
membered by all the officers ana men of 
the Alceste and Lyra ; for the kindness and 
hospitality of its inhabitants have fixed upon 
every mind a deep and lasting impression 
of gratitude and esteem. 




Passage from Lewchew to Canton— Discuss weighty 
Matters with the Chinese Authorities — Result 

' of these Discussions — Observations on the 
Chinese People. 

STANDING between wliat had been 
termed Lyra^s Reef (where she had been so 
nearly lost) and the Isles of Amakirrima, 
we pursued our course to the south-west- 
ward. On the next day we saw Typinsan, 
one of the most considerable of the Lew- 
chewan group. 

It was on some reefs not far distant from 
this island, that the Providence sloop-of- 
war was wrecked in the year 1797, whilst 
employed on a voyage of discovery in these 
seas. Having a little schooner in company, 
the lives of the people were fortunately 
saved; but the very small quantity of water 
and provisions in this vessel, with such a 


^dden addition to her crew, rendered it 
absolutely necessary to apply to the natives 
here forfcsistance. 

Captain Broughton says, " After an- 
choring the schooner, a canoe immedi- 
ately came off to us ; and to them we ex- 
pressed our wants, which they seemed to 
comprehend, as they left us directly and 
soon after returned with water. 

" From the vessel we could see two large 
villages ; and a boat with an officer went 
to each of them . They were received in 
the most fi'iendly manner, and the boats 
returned ftill of water.. In the afternoon 
they sent in canoes a much larger quantity, 
with some wood and large packages of 
canary seed *, also some poultry and pigs, 
jvithout asking for any thing in return, or 
seeming to expect it. They strongly ex- 
pressed a desire for us to proceed to the 
eastern village, where they could more con- 
veniently supply our wants ; whither we pro- 
ceeded, and were made welcome with a boat- 
load of wood and three large hogs. After 

* This was most probably millet, 


K ..>•• 


V07A0E OF H. M. S. ALCBSTfi 

breakfast on the following day, we paid a 
visit on shore to our humane friends, who 
received us with the greatest civility in a 
large and convenient house, well adapted 
to the country : the floors were matted, and 
every thing relating to the furniture ex- 
tremely neat. On these mats we sat in the 
oriental custom, and partook of the refresh- 
ments they offered, such as tea, pipes and 

" Several venerable old men encircled 
our party, dressed in large loose gowns of 
fine manufacture, similar to tiffany, of va- 
rious colours, and different patterns. These 
flowing gannents were tied round the middle 
with a sash ; and they also woreHrowsers 
and sandals. The crown of their Beads 
were shaved, and the hair from behnid 
brought up to a knot on the top, and s< 
curely fastened by metal pins in the Malay^ 
style. They made use of fans universally ; 
and some wore neat straw hats, tied under 
the chin. The aged men had most re- 
spectable beards. 

" The house appeared to belong to the 
principal people, and was in an elevated 


situation, at some little distance from the 
sea, environed by a square wall of stones, 
twelve feet high, with a gateway to enter 
by, over which was a guard-house. The 
rooms werfe spacious, opening on the sides, 
with projecting balconies. We found no 
difficulty in making them comprehend our 
wants ; but extreme satisfaction in finding 
they had not only the inclination, but the 
power of supplying them. 

^* We were desirous of walking about the 
town, but this they strongly objected to, 
nor could all our persuasions induce them : 
not wishing to give any offence we gave up 
the point, and proceeded in the boat some 
distance, to the watering-place, where we 
found the inhabitants most cheerfully as- 
sisting our people in drawing water from a 
stone well, that had been made for watering 
the adjacent plantations.'^ 

The account also relates that a party was 
sent in the boats to examine that part of 
the coast, where they conjectured any pro- 
visions from the^ ship might have drifled 
on shore, but without success. This party 
landed on another little island which they 

L 2 



found inhabited and cultivated, but inac- 
cessible except at one part. They found 
here human skulls in caverns, among the 
rocks, which (from being unacquainted with 
this mode of depositing the bones of their 
dead) they imagined were the remains of 
some shipwrecked people, not so fortunate 
as themselves. 

Here also the natives had water and 
potatoes ready for them on landing, and 
otherwise treated them with great civility. 

Having received a number of bags of 
wheat, of rice, and sweet potatoes, with a 
bullock, some hogs, plenty of poultry, and 
even jars to hold their water, they prepared 
for their departure. " When the schooner 
was ready for sailing'' (says the narrative), 
" we paid our last visit, carrying with us 
some trifling presents, the most acceptable 
we had. We endeavoured to make them 
comprehend how sensible we were of their 
kind attention, and I believe we succeeded, 
as they accepted our gifts with great satis- 
faction, particularly a drawing of the ship 
and a telescope. 

" After partaking of their refreshments. 


fliese venerable old men accompanied us 
to the beach, where the long-boat, com- 
pletely rigged and fitted with sails, lay at 
anchor, ready for their acceptance. They 
received her with great joy, and directly 
took possession. 

" Thus did we part most amicably with 
these humane civihzed people, not unaf- 
fected by the favours we had received from 
them in our distressed situation.'' 

It also appeared that on touching at 
another of these islands, about sixty miles 
farther to the westward, intelligence must 
have been sent of their misfortune, for here 
likewise the inhabitants were ready with 
refreshments for them, as they passed by. 

The same manners, character, and dis- 
position seem, therefore, to prevail among 
the inhabitants of all the Lewchewan Isles, 
and it is also worthy of remark, that their 
treatment of the crew of the Providence, 
who had no force, but, on the contrary, ^ 
were helpless and distressed, could only ^"^K^ 
have proceeded from the purest spirit of 

On the 30th, we descried Botel Tobago 



Xima, rising high, rugged, and precipitous 
from the sea, and very much resem bling, in its 
general features, St. Helena. Passing to the 
northward of it, we discovered, on the same 
day, the island of Formosa. The south- 
east part (that which we saw) is extremely 
high and moimtainous, as, indeed, the whole 
of it is represented to be ; and with the wind 
at N. E., as we then had it, and blowing 
strong, the surf rolled in with dreadful force 
upon the reefs extending fh>m it. The 
western parts of Formosa are under the 
dominion of the Chinese, but the eastern 
shores are still occupied by the aboriginal 
inhabitants. It is said they are in a very 
uncivilized condition ; that they can run 
with the swiftness of a greyhound ; and are 
such expert marksmen with the bow and 
arrow, as to kill a pheasant on the wing 
with the greatest certainty. The water of 
the island is considered most insalubrious. 
The mode of courtship here is rather odd. 
When a young man fixes his affections, he 
hovers about the house where the object 
of his regard resides, and plays upon some 
musical instrument, which signal the lady 



answers by coming out to meet him, and 
settle the matter, provided he is to her 
taste ; should it be otherwise, she takes no 
notice, the gentleman whistles in vain, and 
must try his fortune elsewhere. The bride- 
grooms here transfer their filial duty to their 
fathers-in-law, and, in fact, are considered, 
after the marriage, as part of the wife's 

Captain Broughton remarked that, in- 
stead of boats or canoes, they used small 
floats, in fishing here, composed of bam- 
boos lashed together, about twenty feet by 
six, the mast in a wooden step in the centre; 
and they appear to sail fast, each float 
containing three men. It is somewhat 
singular that on the coast of Tartary we 
observed the same sort of rafts, though not 
formed of bamboos. Becoming too dark 
to see our way between the south end of this 
island, and the rocks of Vele Rete, we bore 
up, until, by our run, we were fairly to 
the southward of this danger, and then 
hauled to the wind on the starboard tack. 
The passage across the Straits of Formosa 
was boisterous in the extreme, blowing a 



severe gale at N, E., with that sort of tum- 
bling sea felt in many other parts of the 
world, and which is infinitely more trying 
to ships than the long expansive swell of 
the wider ocean. The Alceste was a good 
deal injured, and the Lyra had nearly 
foundered, the fore-topsides giving way, 
and sustaining other damage. On the 2d 
November we saw the grand Lemma ; and 
on the same day pushed up to the an- 
chorage, at the island of Lintin, without a 

Here we remained unnoticed for some 
days, when a number of men-of-war junks 
anchored near us, and a mandarin (their 
admiral) came on board, who, after the 
usual interrogatories, promised that a pass 
and pilot should be sent to us, to proceed 
up the river. In the time of Lord Anson, 
the Typa, near Macao, was of sufficient 
depth to receive the Centurion, a sixty- 
gun ship ; but, at the present day, no 
frigate of large size can with propriety 
enter it, having become much shallower 
from the deposition of mud. To have 
brought up the provisions and stores for the 


use of the ships, which had been left at that 
place, (subject to the conjoined imposi- 
tions of the Chinese and Portuguese,) in 
hired vessels, would have been expensive : 
the Lyra, therefore, was ordered down for 
that purpose. 

We soon began to experience the invete- 
rate ill-will of the viceroy, or Tsong-tou, of 
Canton, who, well aware that the object of 
the embassy was, in a great measure directed 
against his extortions, and those of his 
myrmidons, on our commerce, naturally 
entertained the most perfect hatred and 
detestation for any ship attached to such a 
mission. The people of Lintin (no doubt 
by the influence of their superiors) dammed 
up the course of the water; and it was not 
until sentries were placed along the little 
stream, to keep it clear, that we were en- 
abled to fill our casks. The Comprador, 
or the person employed to supply ships with 
provisions and ne9essaries, could only 
smuggle himself on board after dark ; and 
then hurried away trembling, for fear of 
being found near us at daylight with his 
boats. His master, (or partner,) Aming^ 


had Ycry lately been tortured, imprisoned, 
and fined ; or, to use the Chinese phrase, 
squeezed in a very heavy sum, on suspicion 
that he knew of the intention of the captains 
of some Indiamen to proceed into the city, 
in order to present a memorial to the vice- 
roy, of which circumstance he had not 
given information, that it might have been 

It seems the viceroy, in malicious feel- 
ing to the General Hewitt, because she had 
been connected with the embassy, would 
not permit her to load, under pretence 
that she was a tribute ship ; saying that she 
must wait to carry back the unaccepted pre- 
sents, and of course could have no room for 
teas. Had it even been intended that she 
should carry back the presents (which was 
not the case, as, in the event of their not 
being received, they were to be otherwise 
disposed of), still they would not have oc- 
cupied the tenth part of her tonnage ; and, 
besides all this^ it was no business of the 
viceroy to intermeddle with the arrange- 
ments about the unaccepted tribute. The 
senior captain of the Indiamen, attended 



by a party of his brother officers, and some 
of the gentlemen of the factory, on finding 
other measures vain, proceeded, therefore, 
to make a personal application to the vice- 
roy, and to present a memorial, stating the 
great hardship and unreasonableness of this 
prohibition* This bold manoeuvre, how- 
ever, was unattended with success, although 
with much determination they pushed for- 
wards to the viceroy ^s palace amidst every 
indignity, and the hootings of the people. 
The General Hewitt was guarded with more 
rigour than ever, being surrounded by war 
junks; and, previous to our arrival, Capt. 
Colin Campbell, of the navy, (who, bei&g 
unemployed, accompanied his brother in 
this voyage,) with all who happened to be 
on board, were detained prisoners, at the 
second bar, for more than five weeks. 

On the 7th another mandarin came on 
board, who disclaimed any knowledge of 
the former, or of what he had promised, 
stating, through the medium of an inter- 
preter, (who seemed himself a man of 
some little consequence, and who evi- 
dently enjoyed peculiar satisfaction in re- 


peating whatever was galling to the feel- 
ings of a Briton), that he had been making 
fools of us about sending a pass ; that the 
Embassador had been sent away in dis- 
grace from Pekin ; that he must soon 
arrive here, when he would be immediately 
sent on board, and dismissed with all the 
English ships from the country, and so 
forth ; adding that we must remain at our 
present anchorage, not attempting to pass 
up the river; and even, during our stay 
here, it would be necessary to have a 
security-merchant to answer for our good 
conduct. The latter part of this rhodo- 
montade about a security-merchant for the 
king's ship. Captain Maxwell begged might 
not be repeated, unless they wished to be 
thrown overboard ; quietly telling them he 
would wait a reasonable time longer for the 
viceroy to send down a pass, or chop^ to 
proceed up the river, which he was de- 
sirous of doing for two reasons, — First, the 
ship required caulking and other repairs, 
which it was impossible to accompliiSh in 
her present unprotected and exposed situa- 
tion : — Next, the Lion, in the former em- 


bassy, had been admitted to a place of 
safety; and the emperor having, in the 
first instance, expressed his pleasure that 
the Alceste should have the same reception, 
it could only be considered an indignity to 
be excluded ; and would be a bad prece- 
dent. They now became a little more 
cool; and, after some desultory conver- 
sation, took their leave: but previously 
Captain Maxwell insisted on their admit- 
ting (to exclude them from all shuffling), 
that, if a pass was not sent down within 
a certain time, he was to take it for granted 
that leave was given. 

That time arrived without the least no^ 
tice being taken of us ; and the pilot who 
had come on board, in the hope of carry- 
ing us up, sneaked oiFin the dark, saying 
it was dangerous for him to have any con- 
nexion with us. 

Against an open attack a British com- 
mander can never be at a loss how to act ; 
but the present was a most trying and em- 
barrassing case, and imposed a very heavy 
and serious weight of responsibility. That 



His Majesty's ship should be suppUed by 
an unauthorized individual under cover of 
night, and by stealth, was not to be en- 
dured ; to be denied admission to the har- 
bour, and detained in an unprecedented 
manner, at this season of the year, in an 
open and dangerous road, could not be 
viewed but as an act of absolute hostility ; 
and to all this were added sneering insult, 
and contempt of the most mortifying kind. 

To have waited longer for an explicit 
answer would have been vain; for a 
Chinese, who could so far forget himself, 
even in the most common occasions of 
intercourse, as to give a frank, ingenuous, 
and undesigning reply to any communica- 
tion, would be considered by his own 
countrymen a fool, and by foreigners a 

They are a people, who, by early edu- 
cation and constant habit, are mancmvrers^ 
and always enjoy a much higher satis- 
faction in obtaining any purpose by fraud, 
trick, and overreaching, than by the most 
direct, candid, or honourable means ; and 


afford a strong exempli6 cation of the dis- 
tinction between low cunning and true 

On the other hand, the king's represen- 
tative was in their power, and this circum- 
stance rendered a decision on the case still 
more difficult; but it was equally clear 
that the government which attempted to 
dishonour the flag would not respect the 
Embassador; and experience has fully 
proved, that the tame submission of other 
nations has only added to the arrogance, 
and fostered the insolence, of the Chinese. 
This, perhaps, was the impression on 
Captain Maxwell's mind, when he got 
under weigh on the 12th ; but not a word 
was expressed. The examination,* how- 
ever, of the locks and flints on the car- 
ronades by the gunner, with a few other 
minor preparations, were hailed as auspi- 
cious omens, and excited tlie most pleasing 
hopes; for the Chinese have no foreign 
friends; every seaman, whether of the 
navy or merchant's service, from expe- 
rience of their faithless conduct, consider- 
ing himself in a state of warfare from the 



moment he enters their territory. We got 
up as far as Lankeet Flat that night, 
without a pilot; but Mr. Mayne, ,the 
master, who knew the ground, volunteered 
to carry up the ship as far as she could 
swim. Here we anchored for the night, 
and spoke the Cornwall Indiaman, boimd 

About two o'clock P. M. next day, we 

again weighed, the flood tide serving, and 

beat up towards the Bocca Tigris, or 

Bogue, then distant a few miles. The 

Bocca Tigris is the mouth of the principal 

IP branch of that river, on which Canton is 

situated, and where it is contracted to 

about the breadth of the Thames at 

Lon(||||; but the banks are formed by 

high land, more especially on the east 


The fortifications on this pass were for- 

* merly insignificant, and allowed to remain in 

a very dismantled state ; but lately they have 

been repaired and strengthened with much 

care ; an additional battery of forty guns 

having been built, rather farther up, and on 

the same side with old Annan-hoy. A 


iititidred and ten pieces of cannon, of dif:^ 
ferent calibres, are at present mounted on 
these forts^ including that of the island 
of Wangtong opposite^ the whole three 
being able to keep up a cross fire, as they 
are within half-gunshot of each other, with 
a garrison at this time of about 1,200 men^ 
Chumpee, which lies in a corner farther 
down, has about twelve or fourteen guns; 
but a ship may kefep out of reach of them* 
As we advanced, some war junks formed a 
line oiF Chumpee, and were soon after 
joined by several more, making altogether 
seventeen or eighteen. They carry, on an 
average, six guns, with from sixty to eighty 
men each. About this time (five o'clock) 
we observed them parading their trl^Pb in 
the forts, manning the guns, unfuriing their 
flags, and making every demonstration of 
battle. The same loquacious linguist be^ 
fore mentioned now came on board from 
the mandarins, and desired, in a high and 
domineering tone, that the ship should be 
directly anchored ; and stating that, if we 
presumed to pass up the river, the batteries 
would instantly sink her. He availed hinx*' 





self, at the same time, of that favourable 
opportunity, to express his personal sense 
of low consideration for us, and, in plain 
terms, told the captain he thought him 
very impertinent. The latter calmly ob- 
served that he would first pass the batteries, 
and then hang him at the yard-arm, for 
daring to bring on board a British man- 
of-war so impudent a message. His boat 
was then cut adrift, and himself taken into 

The junks now commenced firing blank 
cartridge, which we returned with three 
guns from the ship, affecting to consider 
this as a mere salute. On the next tack, 
we JMtesed close to these warriors, who 
raiwRd quiet until we got inside of them, 
and opened Chumpee ; when that fort, 
little Annan-hoy, and the junks (now un- 
g der weigh), began to fire at us with shot. 
At this moment the wind becoming hght and 
baffling, we were obliged to drop anchor in 
Anson's bay, in order to hold the ground we 
had gained, and that they might not suppose 
by our drifting outwards they had driven us 
baclc. In the act of wearing for this pur- 






pose, we gave the admiral of the juuks a 
single shot only, by way of a hint*. The 
forts immediately ceased firing ; and their 
junks anchoring near us, all remained 
quiet until a little after eight o'clock, when 
a lighi; breeze sprung up, which enabled us 
to lay our course, and the anclwr was 
again weighed. The moment this was ob-- 
served by the junks, they beat their gongs^ 
fired guns, and threw up sky-rockets, to 
give the alarm ; and, in an instant, the bat- 
teries were i^ompletely illuminated, dis- .!^^I 
playing lanterns as large as moderate-sized > dtk 
balloons, (the finest mark imaginable for ^^ 
us), commencing also a warm, but ill- 
directed fire, from both sides. ^^ 

Steering a steady course, the fflP re- 
turned a slow and regular fire, as the guns 
could be got to bear, without yawing her. 
From the lightness of the breeze, which a 

* This first shot was fired by the Captain's own hand^ * 
tfaat^ in the event of the Chinese demanding those who 
fired, iastead of those who ordered, or of seizing upon any 
ianocent persdtt,.^ might fully place himself in the situa* 
tion of b^ing individually responsible for all coose%uen€e3* 

M 2 







the cannonade seemed to lessen » it was a: 
considerable time before we got abreast of 
the largest battery. At last, when within 
pistol-shot of the angle of it, and just be- 
fore they could get all their guns to bear 
into the ship, a whole broadside, with cool 
aim, was poured in among them, the two- 
and-thirty pounders rattling the stones 
about their ears in fine style, and giving 
them at the same time three roaring 
This salvo was decisive at this particular 
ijK point ; their lights disappeared in a twink- 
ling, and they were completely silenced. 
But from the island opposite they still con- 
tinuedJ^heir fire, the balls which passed 
over arai around us striking New Annan- 
hoy, which had thereby the full benefit of 
theii* own as well as our shot. 
I Soon after this our point was gained ; and,, 

standing up the river, we displayed our 
' stern to these gentlemen. It is somewhat 
extraordinary that it should have been 
gained so easily ; for, notwithstanding we 
were nearly an hour wrangling in this^ nar- 
row passage, not a man (on our side) was 



killed, the ship only hulled twice, and some 
trifling damage done to the rigging. Al- 
most any European gunners, with the same 
advantages, would have blown the frigate 
out of the water. During this affair, the 
flashing of the guns on the glassy surface 
of the river, and the rolling echo of their 
reports along the adjoining hills, had a very 
grand and animating effect, and reminded 
our fellows of other days. 

The Chinese linguist, who had crawled 
below when he saw matters taking a serious 
turn, and having observed there was no 
joking in the case, began in real earnest 
to think, as one part of the promise had 
been fulfilled, that his time had now ar- 
rived, and naturally expected that^Jie was 
about to make his appearance at the yard 
arm. Coming trembling upon deck, he 
prostrated himself, and, kissing the Cap- 
taints feet, begged for mercy. At that 
moment, hearing the order given to '^ stand 
" by the larboard guns for Tiger Island,'' 
(on which we then supposed there was a 
battery,) he said, with a rueful count^- 
najjce, " What ! no hab done yel V " Not 



^ half done"" was the reply : " How many 
" guns have you got dn Tiger Island V — 
but, without waiting to answer this ques- 
tion, (or, indeed, reflecting in his perturba- 
tion that there were none at all,) he wrung 
his hands, groaned heavily, and dived again 

We stood on for some miles further, and 
then anchored. The Chinese, no doubt, 
were rather astonished to find that we could 
not only pass their forts, but sail up the 
river, even in the dark, without a pilot. — 
The truth is, Chinese pilots are utterl}^ 
useless, and, although all our ships are 
obliged to receive them on board, and pay 
them, yet, they are so ignorant and inef- 
ficient, that the officers must trust entirely 
to their own management. 

Next morning, before day, we found 
ourselves surrounded by their grand fleet; 
but they were wise enough to make no 
attack; for, having now broken the ice, it 
was too late for haif-measures, and there 
was plenty of grape at hand to pick their 
teeth, had they offered the least molesta- 
tion . 



HalJP-incsasures seem to be a bad system 
in any dealings, but more especially with 
uncivilized people, for they are apt to attri- 
bute forbearance to fear, and acquire, un- 
der that impression 9 fresh courage. 

When the Jate Admiral Drury was in- 
duced to make a show of force at Canton, 
but was withheld, by circumstances, from 
proceeding to actual hostilities, there was 
no end to their gasconading. They consi- 
dered his retiring as a great victory gained, 
and it is celebrated as such by an inscrip- 
tion in one of their pagodas : — an inscrip- 
tion, by the way, which ought to come 

On the morning of the 15tb, the Alceste 
anchored among the Indiamen at second 
bar, still attended, but with perfect respect, 
by their fleet. 

In the evening. Captain Maxwell, at- 
tended by two gentlemen of the ship, pro- 
ceeded in person to Canton, to demand 
satisfaction (after having taken it) for the 
insultoffered in firing upon the King^s ship. 
On their way up they remained one evening 
with Captain Campbell, of the Hewitt, and 
on that nightj the news of the business with 



the batteries having become public, much 
alarm was at first excited at Canton, as to 
the consequences of this measure. The 
next morning, however, they were agree- 
ably surprised by the appearance of several 
tea-junks alongside, with part of her cargo; 
the viceroy having given permission for her 
to load immediatelif ! — It also came to pass, 
that the said viceroy thought proper to 
send down to the frigate, on this day, a high 
mandarin, attended by one of the Hong 
merchants, to wait upon the captain, to 
welcome him into the river, and compli- 
ment him with all possible politeness ! 

It appeared, therefore, that our late head- 
thumping ceremony produced both tea and 
civility : and, most probably, it is the only 

mode of Ko-towing*^ by which we will ever 

i_ . I 

* Ko-tow is the ceremony exacted from all tributary 
princes and embassadors on apprps^ching the presei^ce 
of the empef or ; and consists in kneeling, placing the 
hands forward, and then knocking the bead thrice against 
the ground. The patient now stands upright, and, by 
word of conmiand, kneels and knocks again, and after- 
wards a third time, making in all three prostrations, and 
nine thumps : on which the music skrikes up the tune of 
f' Subjugation manifested ! a glorious subjugation !'* 
A man, to be much about court in China, would require 



receive either, on reasonable terms, from 
the Chinese. They ^affect, in their usual 
disingenuous cant, to despise our com- 
merce ; they say they could do perfectly 
well without it, and that it is a mere matter 
of grace and favour we are permitted to 
approach their shores, and carry on a trade 
highly to our advantage. But, when the 
company's agents were lately driven to the 
necessity of abandoning Canton, of stop- 
ping the trade, and giving up all concern 
with them, having actually taken their de- 
parture, struck the flag and flag-staff, and 
were on their way down the river, the 
Chinese authorities became alarmed, and 
sent after them to beg they would return, 
making such fair promises as patched up, 
for a time, their differences. Neither will 

a skull as thick as a buffiilo. Besides^ this ceremony is 
required not merely in the imperial presence^ but on 
receiving|any message, or donation of broken victuals, 
from the emperor, and the Dutch Embassy (whom they 
lodged in a stable, and treated with every indignity,) ac- 
tually performed the Ko-tow for some half-gnawed 
bones in 1795, without gaining one single point by thei^- 
abject humility. (Vide Van Braam's own. account.) 



they trade honesdy, or say at once there is 
an end of all intercourse; and day after 
day we have been trifled with and insulted 
by them. 

The removal of our commerce for a single 
year, and the appearance of a few of our 
lightest cruizers on their coasts, would throw 
the whole of this celestial empire into con. 
fusion ; for they are not prepared for the 
loss that would occur in the one case, nor 
to meet the tumult and convulsion that 
would be excited by the destruction of their 
fisheries and coasting trade in the other. 
So feeble is their naval power, that, af5ter 
warring with the pirates for many years, 
who chased their vessels up the river, and 
sacked the towns and villages witliin a few 
miies of Canton, they were at last obliged 
to compromise with them, bribing the whole 
to be quiet, and making their chiefs ^rrf- 
chop mandarins. 

Krusenstem, the intelligent Russian navi- 
gator, who had occasion, in his voyage 
round the world, to touch at this port, 
where he experienced much vexation and 
insult^ says, with great truth and pro- 



priety, what all equally feel, that " the 
forbearance and mistaken lenity of the 
greater civilized powers have emboldened 
these savages, not only to consider as bar- 
barians all Europeans, but actually to treat 
them as such/' 

Captain Maxwell, on arriving at the city, 
sent in a strong note to the viceroy on the 
subject of his rudeness to the ship, which 
the latter answered by a letter from the 
Hong merchants to Sir Theophilus Met- 
calfe, the chief of the factory, who told the 
merchants, that, having no control over the 
king's officera, he neither could receive nor 
communicate it. The Hong people next 
applied to Captain Maxwell personally, 
with their letter of explanation about the 
fracas that had occurred ; but he refused 
to receive either them or their letter, on the 
ground that Chinese merchants were not 
the proper channel of communication be- 
tween him and the viceroy. There the 
matter rested. 

The substance of this epistle was known 
to be some flimsy excuse about a mistake 
in sending down the chop or pass, which 



not being received by the mandarins at the 
forts, they were obliged to act according 
to orders. But what shewed the barefaced 
effrontery of their assertions was their 
pubhc account of the business whilst in 
the very act of presenting • this letter of 
explanation, (for they affect to give a pub- 
lic account of all transactions), which stated 
that the affair at the Bogue was a mere 
chin-chinning or saluting matter altogether. 
The first report of their loss previous to the 
official fabrication, was forty -seven killed, 
besides a number of men spoiled* (wounded), 
which probably might be near the truth, 
considering they stood rather thick ; but, 
after the appearance of the edict, it be- 
came a subject on which " no man can talk/' 

* Among these wise and enligktened people, if a man is 
materially foiled he must die ; for they neither will per- 
mit the necessary knowledge to be acquired for the per- 
formance of any operation, nor will they allow a stranger^ 
who has that knowledge, to save him, but at the risk of 
his own life ; as, in the event of the patient dying withiii 
forty days, from that or any other cause, the anatomist 
would certainly be strangled, or, if he bad plenty of 
money, well squeezed, at least. - 



*rhis is what the Chinese call " making 
" face/' or keeping up appearances, with 
respect to any circumstances they are 
desirous of having reported their own 
way ; and the people on the spcit afe 
literally ordered not to believe the evidence 
of their own senses, but to take the procla- 
mation or edict * (as it is termed) for their 
guide, which is spread about in other 
parts, and handed do\VTi to posterity as 
good history, which no man dares to con- 
tradict. There was, however, a good deal 
of talk, sub rosuj upon the subject, and the 
shot fouixd in the battery having been sent 
up to Canton and weighed, they hai-yawed 
a great deal at what we termed our smaller 
ships throwing shot of 25 catties (32lbs.) 
each, asking seriously about the probable 
consequences of the rejection of the em- 
bassy, and whether our larger ships could 
come up the river. 

That the viceroy had an intention of 

* Some how or other the word edict has crept into 
general use for any piece of common information^ whether 
it is from the emperor, or has the force of a law or not. 


insult beyond the mere exclusion of the 
ship is rendered more than probable from 
the circumstance of a number of barges 
having been placed in the back passage to 
Macao, and not in the route of Lord 
Macartney to Canton, which were re- 
moved from that situation immediately 
after the late occurrence; and likewise 
from the general tenour of his conduct 
throughout. Be this as it may, it would 
clearly have been a triumph to his cause, 
and that of his adherents, that the Em- 
bassador should have arrived at Canton 
with as little eclat and appearance of 
respect as possible. It would have added 
(as exterior is every thing with them) in 
the eyes of the Chinese, as well as foreign- 
ers, to the idea of disgrace and discomfi- 
ture to an obnoxious mission. But the 
advance of the ship to Wampoa not only 
commanded as brilliant an entry for the 
embassy * as ever had been witnessed on 

* That the Chinese did not join in it, is only an addi- 
tional proof that they would have prevented it, had &ey 
dared ; indeed, a few days before the arrival of the Embas- 


any other occasion ; but, what was of equal 

sador, it became necessary, from their conduct in stoning 
and annoying our boats in passing up and down the river, 
to write to the Viceroy, requesting this practice might be 
discontinued ; and hinting that the next application to him 
would be a personal one. The letter was translated into 
Chinese by Mr. Bannerman ^ and as a ship employed in 
an embassy is assumed by the Chinese to be, for the time, 
in the service of the emperor, it was couched as follows : — 

'* His Britannic Majesty's Ship Alceste. 

December 16, 1816. 

'^ The very distinguished honour I at 

present enjoy of being employed in the service of His 
Imperial Majesty^ the Emperor of China, together with 
the profpund respect and duty I owe to my own Sovereign, 
must have entirely prevented my incurring the risk of any 
further humiliation to their respective services, by ad- 
dressing a second letter to your Excellency, whilst a moon 
had passed away, and my former one, stating the insult 
and outrage offered to both, in the assault made upon this 
ship on the 13th of last November, was still unanswered. 
'^ But, as the Chinese people, who live in the boats^ 
and upon the banks of this river, encouraged, no doubt, 
by the unfriendly and inhospitable conduct of your Excel- 
lency towards us, have also commenced an attack, by 
using most opprobrious language, making signs as though 
they would cut our heads off, and frequently throwing 
large stones, so as to endanger our lives, when passing 
quietly to and from Canton ; it becomes an essential duty 
for me to inform your Excellency that there are limits to 



importance, it sustained the dignity of the 
flag, and reduced the viceroy to the mean- 

the patience and forbearance of an English sfaip'of ^ar; 
any trespass beyOdd which it would be cowardice and 
ignominy to endure. 

** My mstractions from my King are most positive to 
tfeat the Chinese people with the gifeatest kindness dnd 
regard, which I have hitherto done, and am titlxidus to 
continue to do; but, as His Britannic Majesty, when 
giving these gracious orders, could not have anticipated 
that his ship was to have been fired upon by Chinese 
forts and fleets, with the view of destroying her ; and 
that his ofiicers and men were to be daily exposed to in- 
sult and injury from the unrestrained licentiousness of the 
lower classes of the people of China, I must endeavour^ 
should your Excellency not deem it expedient to put an 
immediate stop to these disgraceful and dangerous pro- 
ceedings, to act under such unlooked-for circumstances, 
as I think will best merit hereafter His Majesty's appro- 
bation, who always estimates the honour and dignity of 
his crown, by the safety and ^protection it affords to hir 
people in every quarter of the globe. 

'* I have the honour to be 
" Your Excellency's 
" Most obedient and very humble sei^VAnt, 

" To His Excellency the Viceroy of Canton,*' 

An edict or order was immediately placarded on re- 
ceipt of this, desiring the people to desist from any n^^ 
lestation of the English. 


ness of congratulating those who had defied 
his flotilla and battered his fortifications. 

Canton may be considered the most in- 
teresting city in China. It is one of the first 
in point of size, and, perhaps, the very 
first with respect to wealth. Here also, as 
the native manners may be seen in all their 
purity as perfectly as in any other part, the 
traveller has the additional advantage of 
viewing them as connected with Euro- 
peans, and of noticing their brightest ef- 
forts of imitative genius which the encou- 
ragement afforded by the commerce of the 
place calls forth. 

The number of junks * aod boats of all 
descriptions in motion upon the Tigris sur- 
passes even the busy scenes upon the 
Thames. Here the boats are the only re- 
sidence of some thousands of families, who 
live entirely 6n the water, and manage to 
obtain a livelihood, some by plying pas- 
sage, others by fishing and picking up 

"* A Chinese junk accords more with our conceptions 
of the appearance of Noah's ark than pf a ship. 




floating articles, and not unfrequently by 
exercising their talents like our mud-lark- 
ers and river pirates. The pagodas on 
the banks of the Tigris are magnificent 
objects ; and the appearance of the river at 
night, completely illuminated by lamps 
and lanterns in all the boats, has a very 
striking effect. 

Infanticide is said not to be so common 
in China as was at one time believed j but 
that it does exist is not attempted to be 
denied by the Chinese themselves ; one of 
whom, on being interrogated seriously on 
this subject, readily admitted, without 
seeming to consider it as a crime, that they 
certainly did drown their children when 
they were so numerous as to be inconve- 
nient to them ; but that boys were gene- 
rally exposed alive, and, if picked up, 
they became coolies or slaves. It would 
appear, therefore, that female children are 
most likely to become the victims in this 
way, from being less useful to their parents 
when they grow up; for the patriarchal 
law of China considers the sons a6 the 
slaves of their father, and he is entitled to 


sell them as such should occasion require. 
The entertainments given by the Hong 
merchants at Caatoa to their European 
friends are considered to be very superb. 
Seldom fewer than a hundred people sit 
down in the great hall to dinner, which is 
usuaJly dressed in our style^ (although they 
have also their chop-stick feasts), and plenty 
of the best viands, wines, and fruits, cover 
the table. Bird-nest soup is also handed 
round as a great treat, to which the Chinese 
attribute very extraordinary and invigo- 
rating qualities. On us, however, it pro- 
duced no unusual effect ; and we should not 
have known it from any other, had it not 
been ipointed out. These bird-nests, which 
are collected in theSunda Archipelago, are 
rather expensive articles, being purchased 
by. an equal weight of silver. Their com- 
position is not yet exactly known, but it is 
some gelatinous substance, most likely of 
the vegetable kind, which the swallows 
pick up. They have also a soup made 
from sharks' fins, which they consider a 
great delicacy. People, who have an aver- 

N 2 



sion to dog-eating, cautiously avoid their 
hashes *. 

During the whole of the entertainment, a 
play is performing on a stage erected atone 
end of the hall, the subject of which it is 
difficult, in general, for an European to 
comprehend, even could he attend to it, for 
the deafening noise of their music. By 
collecting together in a small space a dozen 
bulls, the same number of jack-asses, a 
gang of tinkers round a copper caldron, 
some cleavers and marrow-bones, with 
about thirty cats ; then letting the whole 
commence bellowing, braying, hammering, 
and caterwauling together, — some idea 
may be formed of the melody of a Chinese 
orchestra. The softer music, however, em- 
ployed at their weddings, and on other 
occasions unconnected with the stage, is 

* The puppies intended for the table, ivhich are car- 
ried about in baskets for sale, have a very sheepish look, 
being covered with a lamblike woolly coat. 

A species of dogs, with black tongues, mouths, and 
throats, are likewise very common throughout China. 




not unpleasing to the ear. Their jugglers 
are extremely adroit, and the tumblers 
perform uncommon feats of activity. 

The Chinese government, with regard to 
rehgion, is tolerant;. It appears to be in 
worldly concerns only that it is tyrannical, 
and seems to be indifferent as to what a 
man professes spiritually, provided he does 
not interfere in temporal matters. Some 
one, calling himself a Cq^tholic bishop, was, 
a short time before our arrival^ strangled 
in one of the provinces,, being suspected of 
intermeddling with state affairs, and pro- 
moting the late rebellions. Another was 
said to be under sentence of death, on thei 
same accusation. 

They not only worship their own tutelary 
deities, but they present offerings to evil 
spirits, or^ as it is vulgarly termed in this: 
country, they " hold q. candle to the devil,'^ 
in order to keep on civil terms. with him,: 
and avert njischief. They have not the 
advantage of any particular day set aside 
for public worship, nor do they attend 
their temples congregationally. Their 
priests or bonzes are not treated with that 



reverence and respect itrhich is- juMlj and 
reasonably due, and tv^bich is usually paid, 
to the respectable ministers of religion in 
all countriiBs. They are otherwise free, 
however, fh>na indecorum and irregularity, 
having no wild fandttifcs, - such as exist in 
India : — they are not : troublbd with doihi- 
neering s{»ritual: inquisitors^ as in soQie of 
our neighbouring countries ;^-^rior have 
they any impious quacks and imountebank 
preachers, abasing toleration and disho^ 
nouring religion, as^ in England^ 

The Chinese are strangers to lovfe: froni 
the spirit of their institutions, which unna- 
turally prohibit all intercourse between the 
sexes, that passion can never be felt ; and 
marriage is a mere cold-hearted bargain, 
conducted through the medium of some 
fetnye agent, whenever a man finds it con- 
venient t?o have a wifei» A^ he neveir sefeiJ the 
lady until h&unlb(!;ksi the door of the sedan 
chair in which she is brotight home, thfe key 
of which is previously sent to him, a man is, 
of course, very liable to have tricks played 
upon him% — ^^For example, more especially 
as polygamy is allowed^ a person may have 



a wife sufficiently young to be considered 
his daughter ; should he want money, and 
the lady another husband, (both very likely 
cases,) or from any other reason should 
they wish to part, and think proper to act 
inf collusion, she is sold as his daughter to 
another man, who is thus imposed upon 
by having a second-hand wife palmed off 
upoti him, instead of a new one. Th^ 
rigour of the law against oflFenders of this 
kind, which awards a very severe bam-^ 
booing to all principials, aiders, and abettors, 
affords a proof that frauds of this descrip- 
tion are not unfrequent. The gentleman 
has the privilege, on the first sight of his 
bride, diould he not approve her, of lock- 
ing the door of the chair, and sending her 
bome again to her parents, provided be 
thinks proper to lose the money he paid 
for her, but for the poor woman there is no 
choice whatever- On her side it is a better 
or worse case ; and what seems still more 
unfair, a Chinese husband is empowered, 
(in addition to the other causes of divorce 
existing in most countries,) to put away his 



wife, should^ she turn out either sickly or 
too talkative* 

With a people, who still imagine the earth 
to be a plain, and China in the middle, 
with all her tributary kingdoms around 
Jier ; — who are equally uninformed with 
regard to astronomy ; — who, in the pro- 
hibition of the study of the human -frame, 
preclude the attainment of the very basis 
of all medical knowledge ; arid who^ in fact, 
in every branch of natural philosophy, are 
equally ignorant, iand determined to continue 
so ; it is evidently impossible to connect 
the term science in any shape or manner; * 

The natural productions of thecoufitry; 
and the acquaintance of the people with 
agriculture and the arts, (as far as they had 
advanced previous to that glorious edict 
which stamped them perfect, and com- 
manded they should not proceed beybnd 
the bounds of excellence,) have' already 
been described, by those whose peculiar 
opportunities, as well as talent, for observ-^ 
ation^ enabled, them to speak i fully, aiid 
with precision, on those subjects^ 


The government of China, however plau« 
sible it may sound in theory, is, by all that 
could be observed in a transient view, and 
by every concurrent testimony of residents 
in the country, most iniquitous and tyran- 
nical in practice. The mandarins, and 
even the Emperor, it is true, cannot boldly 
arid, openly chop off heads like a Turkish 
bashaw or the dey of Algiers, but they 
have the knack of rendering life very mise- 
rable, and assume the power of bam booing, 
torturing, finingf^or squeezing), and practise 
every species of oppression short of death. 

The human kind can scarcely be more 
degraded than in China, for no where is 
power more diabolically perverted. Their 
laws, with the exception of some absurdities 
(such, for example, as that of visiting mere 
accidental homicide with the same punish- 
ment as the most deliberate murder), read 
Dery well; and, were they duly and impar- 
tially administered, might be found suffi- 
ciently adapted (as all laws ought to be) to 
the genius and character of the people they 
are formed for.. This, however, is by no 
means the case; bribery and corruption 



being so common, as scarcely to be the 
objects of indignation or remark. 

Few, it is supposed, (who have ever 
been in China) will be credulous enough to 
believe, that the people have the privilege 
of criticising the conduct of their superiors, 
or of remarking publicly on the measures 
of the emperor. The law which permits 
them to do so may, indeed, be considered 
as a very severe piece of irony on their ac* 
tual state. 

A few years since an affray took place 
(as usual) between some of the seamen of 
the Indiamen who were at Canton on leave, 
and the Chinese mob, in which one of the 
latter by an unlucky blow was killed. The 
Chinese authorities insisted on blood for 
blood, one of the seamen having been 
seized and detained in the factory. But 
this demand was not tamely yielded to (as 
in the case of the innocent gunner, who was 
sacrificed in so cowardly a manner many 
years ago), being resisted, on the ground 
either of the aggression of the Chinese, or 
of a mutual inclination to fight, in which a 
man happened to be killed, without the 


least previous intention of murder. For- 
tunately the Lion J of 64 guns, Captain 
Holies, happened to be there, which pro- 
bably gave some Weight to these argu- 
ments. The mandarins dwelt on the pre- 
cedent of a man having been delivered up 
to them on a former occasion ; and asked, 
why there should be so many difficulties in 
the present instance ? Sir George Staunton 
replied, that it was not the rule amongst 
Englishmen to err a second time, merely 
because they had once done wrong. " Have 
you no useless person on board the ships 
that you could spare us, said the man- 
darins, in order to settle this affair?'' — 
" None'' was the reply. Finding Captain 
(now Admiral) RoUes and the leading 
members of the factory firm and unyield- 
ing, and seeing no hope of success either 
by threats or persuasion, they now offered 
to compromise the matter for money, pro- 
posing that a certain sum should be paid 
to them for the benefit of the deceased's rela-- 
tionsj and a slave could then be purchased 
of the Portuguese at Macao, whom they 
%vould strangle in lieu of one of the sailors. 


and thus the law would be perfectly satis- 
fied ! 

Neither was this proposal acceded to ; 
and at last, after much discussion, the 
matter was arranged in some way or other 
without resorting to this horrible mode of 

It is lamentable to observe that the in- 
stitutions of any nation should have the 
effect of deadening every feeling of sym- 
pathy, and of, exciting, instead of discou- 
raging, " man's inhumanity to man/' But 
such is the case in this country ; and when 
any one is severely wounded by accident, 
or falls into a river, or other situation of 
danger, he is certain of receiving no assist- 
ance from the by-standers, who will most 
probably take to their heels, in order to 
save themselves from being the last person 
seen near him. 

About midnight, some time in Novem- 
ber, 1816, when the Alceste was lying at 
second bar, the shrieks of some people in 
the water were heard near the ship. The 
Hon. Mr. Stopford, who had the watch, 
and another gentleman, collecting a few 


individuals who happened to be on deck, 
jumped into a boat alongside, pushed oflf 
to their assistance, and, directed by their 
cries, picked up, one after the other, three 
Chinese, who were plunging about in the 
river, which is here several miles wide. 

It was a fine night, and a number of 
small junks were moving up under easy 
sail, several of whom passed within a few 
fathoms of these people who were bawling 
for help ; and although they could, with- 
out the slightest difficulty, have saved the 
whole, they continued their course, the 
crews standing upon deck, and viewing 
their struggles with the most callous indif- 

On carrying the three men on board the 
frigate, it appeared they had been crossing 
the river at this place, in a little Sanpan^ or 
boat ; in which were, besides themselves, 
the wife and child of one of them; and 
that this boat had been run down by one 
of the headmost junks, which passed on 
without taking the least notice, and regard- 
less of their fate, although they had occa- 
sioned the mischief. The others coolly 


followed their example ; when their cries 
were fortunately heard from the ship, and 
thej were preserved by the boat. The poor 
woman and child, being unable to swim, 
sunk, and were drowned. 

Before day-light, these people got a pas- 
sage on shore by a boat which happened to 
be passing near the ship ; and in the course 
of the forenoon, one of them returned on 
board with a cumshaw^ or present, of three 
wild ducks, which he presented on his 
knees to the gentleman who had saved him. 
He said, that by the junk running over their 
sanpan, he had lost his wife and a bull 
child, (his only mode of expressing a boy,) 
and must himself with the other men have 
perished also, but for the assistance we 
afforded them. Pleased with this appear- 
ance of heart and gratitude, where 50 little 
was expected, some money and provisiops 
were given him for his ducks, and he w»s 
allowed to bring on board fish and other 
a,rticles for sale, which, from becoming 
rather a favourite, soon enabled him to 
repair the loss of his boat. 

The Chinese, viewing them in every 


point, are assuredly a very singular race, 
and afford a melancholy example of the 
perverseness of human nature — they exhibit 
the extraordinary instance of a people who 
have had for some thousand years a dawn 
of civihzation, which, from the operation 
of the most narrow-minded principles, has 
never brightened into day. But, for the 
presumptuous folly of supposing themselves 
at the summit of perfection, and the absurd 
tyranny of fettering the human understand- 
ing*, by forbidding all inoovation and im- 
provement, China might and ought to have 
been at the present hour the greatest nation 
of the world. Instead of impotent and 
gasconading pretensions to universal supre- 
macy, she might have enjoyed, from her 
early and local advantages, the real glory 
of being the seat of arts, literature, wealth, 
and power. 

What have the governors or the governed 
gained by this pretended non-intercourse, 
and stupid contempt of the rest of man- 
kind? The frequent change of dynasty, 
and constant rebellions, tend to shew, that 
the former have been by no means secure ; 


whilst the debased and humiliated state of 
the people sufficiently evinces that their 
sordid and ilUberal plan confers no benefit 
on the general mass. 

The Chinese, however, are not without 
their admirers. Some attribute their sus- 
picious meanness, knavery, silly pride, and 
other ill qualities to their depraved mode 
of government, which narrows their ideas 
by compelling their attention, and attaching 
importance, entirely to the observance of 
useless forms and ceremonies, — and which 
by admitting of no deviation from one con- 
tracted path, even in the simplest trans- 
actions of life, prevents all moral improve- 
ment, — and, they assert, that were it not 
for these shackles of the mind, they would 
be gay, civil, industrious, honest, and, in 
fact, like other well-governed people. 
Perhaps there may be a good deal of truth 
in this argument; and, it is, therefore, 
extremely- unfortunate, that some change 
does not take place in a system which pro- 
duces effects so injurious to the reputation 
of mankind. Another, and very distinct 
class of encomiasts, (of the true antediluvian 


school,) affect to hold them in high esteem, 
solely on account of their unvarying habits, 
and tenacious adherence to their ancient 
customs ; and, as they are now, in all re-^ 
spects, precisely what they were two or 
three thousand years ago, they venerate 
them as living monuments of former times, 
and as valuable specimens of the antique ! 
In-their present state, however, from what- 
ever cause it is produced, few moderns will 
take their leave of them with sentiments of 
regard or estimation; and even the most 
inveterate antiquarian, had he more con- 
cerns with them than those merely specu- 
lative, might be divested, perhaps, of some 
of his prejudices. 

Of the embassy, we had heard nothing 
distinctly for nearly five months, except 
that it had not been received. But it was 
not clearly understood, until its arrival at 
Canton, that the refusal Ito submit to 
a humiliating ceremonial, considered as 
stamping it with a character purely tribu- 
tary, was the cause of this failure; and, 
that a reception on the unconditional terms 
of the Chinese, would have been deemed 

194 VOYAeS OF U. M. 8. ALCfiSTE 

ijrore prejudicial to the objects of the mis- 
sion, than even a rejection by a firm 
resistance*. But these weighty matters 
are foreign to the subject of a mere simple 
sea-voyager, and are so well described by 
those officially connected with them, as to 
render any farther observation unnecessary. 
Although the viceroy of Canton was in 
daily communication with the legate, or 
commissioner, appointed to accompany the 
embassy through the country, yet he main- 
tained a sullen silence as to the probable 
period of its arrival, making no communi- 
cation that we might prepare for that 
event; and it was not until the 31st of 

* More than two years have now elapsed since the 
British embassy left China, and every succeeding arrival 
from thence brings accounts of the good conduct and 
more reasonable behaviour of these people, in our 
commercial tiausactions with theuv. It would appear, 
therefore, that, by the steady resistance to their insulting 
demands at Pekin, (added to the broad hint they 
received from the ship at Canton,) the very state of 
things has been brought about, of which we Avere 
desirous; but which, most probably, never would have 
been produced by any surrender of our national digni^. 


December, that a letter of old date, which 
had been detained for some time, was put 
into Captain Maxweirs hand, from Lord 
Amherst, stating when the embassy was 
likely to enter Canton, which took place 
on the following day, A procession of 
boats, consisting of the barges of the two 
men-of-war, those of the factory, the Ame- 
rican consul*, and all the Indiamen, which 
were very numerous, with their respective 
flags, the captains and officers in full dress, 
and the boats^ crews in uniform clothing, 
proceeded some miles up the river, where 
they fell in with the Chinese barges, haying 
the embassy on board. This meeting was 

* Mr. Wilcox, on this occasion^ very handsomely vo- 
lunteered to attend the entry of the Embassador into 
Canton, stating, that he considered it right for nations in 
amity with each other to shew a mutual respect in all 
countries, but niore (especially in one like this, requesting 
only a suitable position for his barge and flag in the 
procession ; and a place perfectly satisfactory to him was 
immediately assigned by Captain Maxwell. He was 
the only public functionary of any foreign Power, then 
present, who, in this respect, seemed uninfluenced by 
the Chinese, and fearless of their opinion. 



highly gratifying to both parties, after a 
separation of nearly five months, during 
which, each had, in its respective route, 
observed many novel scenes, and encoun- 
tered extraordinary occurrences. 

Lord Amherst removing into his own 
(or the Alceste's) barge, a double line of 
boats were formed on each side, and in 
this order proceeded down the river, and 
was landed at the entrance of the great 
temple, on the Honan side, from whence 
he was conducted to his residence by a 
very numerous assemblage, who had col- 
lected to receive him. The apartments in 
this place had been fitted up with much 
taste, and great appearance of comfort, 
under the inspection of Mr, Urmston, of 
the factory, and was by far the most com- 
modious and respectable quarters they had 
met with in China. A temporary building, 
or wooden frame, covered with yellow 
screens, and containing a chair of state, 
having also yellow ornaments, and the 
usual insignia of the Emperor, was erected 
in the principal square, for the occasion of 
the viceroy's interview with the Embassa- 


dor, in order to deliver the Emperor's 
letter to the Prince Regent. 

This ceremony took place some days 
after the arrival of his lordship. The vice- 
roy had been ordered by his court to make 
a speech to the Embassador, on presenting 
this letter (which speech had been in 
rehearsal for some months, and the sub- 
stance of it publicly known through the 
medium of Portuguese translations). It 

appeared that the tenour of this embryo 
harangue was rather of an insulting nature, 
containing such expressions as, " Yoiu* 
" good fortune has been small f " You 
sighed after happiness, and were unable 
to lift your eyes up to heaven,'* i. e., to 
view the celestial Emperor : and others of 
a similar kind. The preamble of this edict 
also stated, that there appearing to be no 
want of respect in the King or Prince, who 
had sent over so many seas to pay him 
homage, and the fault laying entirely in 
the Embassador's not understanding the 
rules of true politeness ; he therefore 
" wishing to shew lenity to inferiors," had 
accepted some trifling articles of the pre- 




sents of the said King, and in return had 
bestowed precious gifts, agreeably to the 
maxim of Confucius, " Take little, and give 
much*/' It also stated, that " on the 
receipt of these gifts, the Embassadors 
became exceeding glad, and expressed 
great contrition -f- for their conduct ;'' and 
went on to say " that the viceroy ,^ on their 
arrival, was to give them an entertainment 

* The precious gifts (bestowed agreeably to the maxim 
of Confucius) would not probably bring five pounds^ if 
put up to public auction. ^Our valuable presents which 
the Emperor did not accept^ have^ no doubt^ by this time, 
been turned to much better account ; having been sent 
from Canton to India, to be disposed of. 

f A tolerably ^rong example of this sort of face-- 
making occurred during the discussion about the per- 
formance of the ceremony, in which they had recourse 
to an imperial lie ; the Emperor declaring, through his 
ministers, that he himself had seen Lord Macartney per- 
form it ; and they coolly called on Sir 6. Staunton, who 
had been page in that embassy, to vouch for the truth 
of the fact ; and that he did submit to the Ko-tow is the 
face they have put upon it in all the records of the em- 
pire. They also hinted to Lord Amherst, " that he 
might perform the Kortow here, and make any report be 
pleased when he returned to England." A proposition 
which, of course, was treated with the contempt it 


in compliance with good manners, after 
which he was to rid himself of them as soon 
as possible ; and should they again suppli- 
cate him to accept their presents, he was 
enjoined to say to them, ' The edict has 
passed, and cannot be revoked! the Em- 
peror can be troubled no more!' and so 
forth/' As this intended address had been 
made by them matter of public notoriety, 
it was understood, that, in order to prevent 
any nonsensical palaver of this sort, a hint 
was given to the viceroy the day previous 
to the interview, cautioning him against 
the use of any improper language, as it 
might call forth replies which would be 
unpleasant. At the time appointed, this 
meeting of ceremony took place, and was 
accompanied by the appearance of guards, 
music, and other attendants, there being 
much state observed on each side. 

The Emperor's letter, contained in a 
bamboo case, covered with yellow silk, 
was now taken from this throne, and pre- 
sented to the Embassador, who transferred 
it to his secretary. The persons on either 
side, who were (by previous regulation) 


▼0YA6I OF H. M. S. ilLCESTB 

allowed chairs, having taken their seats^ 
and the usual unvarying number of com- 
plimentary questions having been gone 
through, such as " What age are ye V and 
some others of the same high importance, 
the viceroy commenced his harangue as 
follows, through the medium of Mr. Mor- 
rison, who interpreted on this occasion^ 
** By the favour of the Emperor you have 
traded to this country for more than a 
hundred years, very much to your advan- 
tage/' — " Tell him,'' said Lord Amherst, 
" the advantage is mutual/' This being 
done, the viceroy replied, " No, the ad- 
vantage is very much on your side^'^ 
" Repeat to him/' said his lordship, " that 
the advantage is strictly mutual/' From 
the dignified and independent manner in 
which this was spoken, (a manner which, 
of course, from his pecuhar situation, and 
the different style of those he had to deal 
with, he could have no conception of), 
and perceiving, also, a determination to 
repulse every thing bordering on imperti- 
nence, he seemed to be quite awed and 
disconcerted ; the thread of his discourse 


was broken, and he got no farther on 
with this mighty specimen of altiloquence, 
than to say something about the subject 
being a disagreeable one. The Embassa- 
dor, now considering the public business 
ended by the presentation of the Emperor's 
letter, rose up, and wishing him a very 
good morning, retired in the same state as 
on coming to this hall of audience. 

A public breakfast was, a few days after 
this, given in the great hall, by the mem- 
bers of the British factory, to Lord Amherst, 
and Kwang, the imperial commissioner, 
who had accompanied the embassy on its 
route, when the manner in which Chinese 
mandarins exact respect from their inferiors 
was displayed by the personal attendants 
of the said Kwang, who were, as usual, 
supplied with ropes, bamboos, and other 
instruments of punishment. A Chinese, 
who had been thrust, by those behind him, 
too near the mandarin's chair (on his 
leaving the factory), waa seized by two 
of these people, who ^hrew the noose of 
their rope around hiu neck, and pulled 
with all their force in opposite directions, 



until the poor wretch fell down senseless, 
and black in the face. He was then 
thrown out into the yard opposite the 
factory; but, as their intention had not 
been to strangle him completely, he in a 
short time revived. 

The whip is not only in constant use, to 
keep in order the humbler mob, but even 
within the precincts of the imperial palace 
it was observed, on the morning on which 
the embassy was there, to be exercised 
most unmercifully upon some of the court 
mandarins. Their curiosity to see the 
Embassador was such that they blocked 
up every avenue, and when he was about 
to retire, he found it impossible to pass 
out. Upon this, some of those of the 
highest rank seized the whip, and literally 
flogged the others out of the hall of light 
and splendour^ like a pack of hounds, 
lliis sort of discipline may, perhaps, be 
quite necessary, and very properly ap- 
plied ; but surely that society which either 
requires, or is willing to submit to such 
treatment, cannot be considered by any 
rational mind, of that polished, civilized. 


and refined character, which has been so 
long (but so falsely) attributed to the 

Every thing being ready, his Excellency 
left Canton on the forenoon of the 20th 
January, 1817, and was attended in the 
same style as on entering it ; except that, 
in passing the various ships in that branch 
of the river, leading to Wampoa*, each 
saluted with nineteen guns, the Chinese 
war-junks also saluting. The viceroy, just 
as the Embassador had embarked in his 
barge to proceed down the river, ap- 
proached near in his boat, and made a 
tender of a complimentary card, which 
was not accepted, it being deemed an 
improper time and mode of presenting it. 
On the 21st, the Alceste weighed, and 
stood down the river; and, on the morning 
of the 22d, we passed our friends at the 

* The Alceste had at first only advanced to the 
second bar^ but some whispering among the Chinese, 
that she was not to be permitted to come up as far as the 
Lion, occasioned her sudden appearance one day (with- 
out any leave), at Wampoa, the Lyra in company. 

204 VOYAGE OF H.*^. 8. ALOESTfi 

fortS) on better terms than when we came 
up, each battery firing a distinct salute, 
in honour of the Embassador, as did the 
diflferent war-junks ; and their whole mili- 
tary force, exclusive of that in the bat- 
teries, was drawn out in line in Anson^s 
Bay, and fired a feu-de-joie with their 

The ship answered all these in rotation, 
with three guns to each. On the same 
evening we anchored off the city of Macao, 
and the next morning his Excellency 
landed ; but here the ghost of the late 
queen made its way through the centre of 
the earth, (for we were now antipodes to 
the Brazils), and prevented any public 
attentions being paid to the Embassador, 
because the accounts of her death had just 
arrived. The fact is, these poor people 
dare not, were they ever so willing, do any 
thing which they think may be displeasing 
to the Chinese, under whom they live in a 
state of miserable thraldom; the latter 
having it in their power, and frequently, 
resorting to the measure, of stopping their 
allowance of provisions whenever they dis- 


play the least symptom of being unruly. 
In the present case, it seemed to be the 
wish of the Chinese to have the whole 
management of the honours to the Em- 
bassador ; a mandarin receiving him on 
going on shore, although within their walls, 
precisely as he would have done had the 
Chinese flag, instead of that of the Portu- 
guese, been flying there. 

In China, there seems to exist a super- 
stitious dread of all foreign women, and 
their importation is strictly prohibited. 
They imagine that the most calamitous 
effect would be produced by their setting 
foot on the celestial soil ; or, perhaps, that 
their unrestrained liberty would be a bad 
example for their own secluded females. 
English ladies, therefore, who frequently 
arrive here in ships that have touched at 
India, are, in order to prevent them from 
doing any mischief, obliged to land at this 
settlement before the ships are permitted 
to pass up the river; and a heavy duty 
must also be paid upon each, which the 
Mandarins pocket, notwithstanding the 



women are strictly confined within the 
narrow limits of the Portuguese territory. 

Macao is stated to be a possession of 
little or no value to the crown of Portugal ; 
and, under the circumstances of its present 
tenure, certainly not one that is either 
honourable or independent. The cave of 
Camoens is the only object here which 
attracts the notice of a traveller, from its 
being the spot in which he composed his 
celebrated poem of The Lusiad. Camoens, 
certainly the greatest, and, perhaps, the 
only, Portuguese poet whose fame ever 
extended beyond the boundaries of his own 
country, deserved a better fate ; and it is 
painful to think, that he died a beggar in 
the streets of Lisbon. 



The Ships visit Manilla, 

ON the 29th of January, the Embas- 
sador having re-embarked, we took our 
leave of China, steering for Manilla, the 
capital of the Philippines, or Spanish India, 
where we arrived on Monday the 3d of 
February, but found it was only Sunday 
the 2d at this place, owing to the Spaniards 
having originally advanced to the Asiatic 
seas by the route of Cape Horn, steering 
westerly ; whilst we had come to the same 
point by the Cape of Good Hope, steering 
easterly. This circumstance often produces 
an awkward effect on people newly arrived 
at Manilla ; for instance, a stranger invited 
to a party on Wednesday, without at all 
reflecting on the way he came thither, may 
dress himself for the occasion, and make 
his appearance on Tuesday. 

The town of Manilla, from its penin- 
sular situation, having on one side the sea 




and on the other a deep and rapid river, 
with strongly-fortified ditches across the 
isthmus, ought to be, with a proper gar- 
rison, very defensible, for there are no 
commanding heights in its immediate vi- 
cinity ; but their soldiers consist almost 
entirely of mulattoes and blacks, and seem 
to be in a very lethargic state of discipline. 
The TVIetees, or Mulatto women, who 
are a mixture between the Spaniards and 
the natives, are remarkable for their sym- 
metry of form and stately mien ; and this 
sort of beauty is so universal as hardly to 
admit of an exception. The religion of 
the Indians, under the immediate control 
of the Spaniards, is Christianity; and they 
have even native priests, but their minis- 


terial powers are very limited, and they 
are not admitted to the same privileges as 
the regular Spanish clergy. At Mindanao 
and the other islands (of which there are 
more than a thousand), where they are 
governed by their own sultans, it is a mix- 
ture of Mahomedanism with their original 
Pagan rites. The banks of the river, as 
well as the lake from which it issues, called 


the Laguna de Bayo, (its nearest part 
about eighteen miles from the city), are 
represented as extremely beautiful, and 
abounding in tropical scenery. 

This lake extends more than thirty miles 
into the interior. Near its head are some 
remarkable hot springs, called " Los 
Banos/' or baths ; but they seemed rather 
too hot for that purpose. Luconia* is 
about four hundred miles in length, and 
two hundred in breadth; and, were it 
made the most of, is fully capable of 
affording all the productions of either 

^ Canada is said to have derived its name from the 
Spaniards, when they landed in that quarter, repeating 
the words " aca nada/' ** nothing here," (meaning 
there was no gold to be found,) which the Indians caught 
the sound of. Sonie similar occurrence appears to 
have occasioned the name of Lu^on. When Magellan's 
party first went on shore they found one of the native 
women beating rice, as is usual at the present time, in a 
mortar hollowed from the trunk of a tree; and, finding 
herself surrounded by strange men, she held up to them 
the large wooden pestle, calling out Looson, which is the 
native term for it ; and this becoming a by-word among 
the Spaniards, they named the island Lugon, which has 
been modernized into Luconia. 


Western India or of the neighbouring 

It is so healthy, that the medical people 
have scarcely any practice, and complain 
that there are no " enfermedades rey- 
nantes,^^ or reigning diseases, such as the 
yellow fever, as it exists at the Havannah, 
Vera Cruz, Carthagena, and other settle- 
ments more (by their reckoning) to the 
eastward. This misfortune most probably 
arises from the very limited intercourse 
which Manilla has, compared to any of the 
others, with Europeans, or new-comers, the 
Spaniards who inhabit it being almost 
without exception Creoles *, and therefore 
assimilated, from their birth, to the climate. 
This restricted intercourse may be observed 
in there not being a single inn for the 
accommodation of strangers in the whole 
city of Manilla or its suburbs. Chinese 
emigrants are here in thousands, and are 
very industrious and money-making, being 

* This term, in colonies, is applied to persons actually 
born there, whether white or black, in distinction t6 those 
imported from the mother country. 


the chief artificers and traffickers in small 
matters, resembling the lower class of 
Jews. From their being found scattered 
about in all the Indian islands, they might 
indeed be considered as the Jews of the 
East, were they only half as honest. Not- 
withstanding their contempt of foreigners^ 
Chinese emigrants are found living under 
foreign govemmetits in greater numbers 
than those of all the European nations put 

The Spaniards appear not to be fully in 
possession of Luconia at the present day. 
They may be said, indeed, only to be 
masters of the ground they occupy, in a 
military point of view ; for, by their own 
accounts, it is not only dangerous to travel 
without an escort in the country, but it is 
not safe for a Spaniard to walk out singly 
after dark about the suburbs of Manilla. 
A day or two after our arrival, three of the 
natives, who had been concerned in the 
murder of a marchioness, were strangled 
before the porch of one of their churches. 
These people seemed to have been actuated 
not by a spirit of plunder, but of revenge, 

P 2 


for some real or supposed injuries, as the 
deed was committed in the pubUc square, 
by dragging her from the carriage on her 
return home in the evening; and in this 
way frequent assassinations occur. A gen- 
tleman of the Alceste being in a party one 
evening, where observations on the murder- 
ous character of the natives were the subject 
of conversation, took occasion to remark 
that if such was the case it would be neces- 
sary to keep a look-out in going homewards ; 
but he was assured that, as an English 
officer, he had nothing to fear. " No, Senor, 
" temen ustedes, pero matan a nosotros,'* 
^* They are afraid of you, but they kill us/' 
It cannot be fear alone that induces the na- 
tives to spare the English officers, who 
certainly freely exposed themselves at times 
and in situations the most favourable for 
assassination, without suiFeiing the slightest 
injury ; and it is probable that a French, 
German, of any other transitory stranger 
might do the same ; for it evidently is against 
their own immediate rulers that this feeling 
of hostility exists ; and it is, no doubt, the 
result of their impolitic mode of governing. 



Such a state of things would render the 
Philippines a very easy conquest to any in- 
vading force in tinne of war ; but the court 
of Spain, at present, seems to have most to 
fear from those sentiments of independence 
which have extended from Buenos Ayres to 
Manilla, and appear to be a point of union 
in which almost all classes are agreed, not 
excepting even the hierarchy. 

The celebrated and unfortunate Perouse, 
when at this place in his voyage of disco- 
very, made the following remarks : — " Ma- 
" nilla is built on the shore of a bay of the 
" same name, which is more than twenty- 
five leagues in circumference. It lies at 
the mouth of a river, navigable as far 
" as the lake from which it rises, and is, per^ 
** haps, the most delightfully situated city 
" in the world- Provisions of all kinds are 
in the greatest abundance there, and. ex- 
tremely cheap ; but clothing, European 
" hardware, and furniture, bear an exces- 
sively high price. The want of competi- 
tion, together with the prohibitions and 
" restraints of every kind laid on commerce, 
** render all the productions of India and ot 








** China at least as dear there as in Europe; 
and this colony, although the various 
imports bring near 800,000 piastres an- 
" nually into the treasury, costs Spain 
" 1,500,000 besides, which are sent there 
*' every year from Mexico. 

" The immense possessions of the Spa- 
*' niards in America have not admitted of 
the government essentially directing i\s 
attention to the Philippines, which resem- 
" ble the estates of those great lords whose 
lands lie uncultivated, though capable of 
making the fortunes of many families. 
" I should not hesitate to assert, that a very 
" great nation, possessed of no other colony 
" than the Philippine Islands, and who 
*' should establish the best government of 
" which they are capable, might behold all 
" the European settlements in Africa and 
** America without envy. 

Three millions of inhabitants people 
these various islands, of whom that of 
" Luconia contains nearly onp-third. These 
•* people appear in no respect inferior to 
those of Europe. They cultivate the 
earth like men of understanding; are 





" carpenters, joiners, smiths, goldsmiths, 
" weavers, masons, ^. I have walked 
" through their villages, and found them 
" kind, hospitable, and communicative ; 
*' and though the Spaniards speak of and 
*^ treat them with contempt, I perceived 
" that the vices they attributed to the 
^* Indians* ought rather to be imputed 
to the government they have themselves 
established/^ Speaking of no encou- 
ragement being given to labour, he states, 
that " as soon as the inhabitants have the 
quantity of rice^ of sugar, and of vege- 
tables, necessary for their subsistence, 
the superflux is of no value whatever* 
In such circumstances, sugar has been 
sold for less than a halfpenny the pound, 
and the rice remained upon the ground 
" without being reaped. 

" It would be difficult for the most un- 
** enlightened society to form a system 


^ It is remarked that an island, not fer from, Luconia, 
is inhabited by woolly-haired negroes, the descendants 
of some Africans, who (in a slave-ship from that coast) 
were at one time wrecked on it. 




** of government more absurd than that 
** which has regulated these colonies for 
^ the last two centuries. 

" The port of Manilla, which ought to 
** be free and open to all nations, has been 
** till very lately shut against Europeans, 
*^ and open only to a few Moors, Ameri- 
cans, and the Portuguese of Goa. The 
governor is invested with the most de- 
spotic authority; and the Audiencia, 
*' which ought to moderate his power, is 
totally impotent before the representative 
of the Spanish government. In point of 
*^ fact, though not by law, it lies in his 
" breast to admit or confiscate the mer- 
^' chandise of foreigners whom the hope of 
^* advantage may have brought to Manilla, 
^' and who would not expose themselves to 
" this risk but on the probability of a very 
*^ great profit, ultimately ruinous to the 
^' consumers/' 

It is undoubtedly as unaccountable, as 
it appears to be unenlightened, that a na- 
tion should take deliberate measures to 
make a colony a burden to it, which is not 
only fully able to maintain itself,, if per- 




mitted^ but to enrich the mother country. 
It seems almost equal to the sublime policy 
of restoring the Inquisition. 

The Spanish authorities here were 
marked in their attentions to the Embassa- 
dor during his stay; and, on the 9th of Feb- 
ruary, having re-embarked, we got under 
weigh, bound homeward, and parted com- 
pany with our consort, the Lyra, which 
soon afterwards proceeded from hence with 
despatches for India. 

V .4 




Depart from Manilla — Shipwrecked on Pulo 
Leat — Attacked by the Malays — Occurrences 
on the Island — Passage of Lord Amherst and 
the Embassy to Batavia. 

A COURSE was now shaped to avoid 
the numerous rocks and shoals, not well 
defined, which lie in that part of the 
Chinese Sea more immediately to the 
westward of the Phihppines, and to the 
north-westward of Borneo; and, by the 
14th, we passed the whole, and got into 
the usual track for the passage of either 
the Straits of Banca or Gaspar, It was 
resolved to proceed through the latter, as 
being more direct, and less subject to 
calms than the former; and considering 
them equally safe, from the latest surveys 
and directions being on board, some of 
them by those who had personally exa- 
mined them. 

At day-light, on the morning of the 18th, 


we made Gaspar Island, exactly at the 
time expected, and, passing it, stood on 
for the Straits. As is customary in ap- 
proaching any coast or passage whatever, 
but more especially one that all are not 
familiarly acquainted with, the utmost 
precaution was taken, by keeping the leads 
going in both chains, men looking out at 
the mast-heads, yard-arms, and bowsprit- 
end ; the captain, master, and officer of 
the watch, on whom the charge of the 
ship at such a time more particularly 
devolves, having been vigilantly on deck 
during the whole of the previous night and 
this morning. Steering under all these 
guarded circumstances , between Banca and 
Pulo Leat, the soundings exactly corresr 
ponding with the charts, and following the 
express line prescribed by all concui;ring 
directions to clear every danger (and tfee 
last danger of this sort between us andi 
England), the ship> about half-past seven 
in the morning, struck with a horrid crask 
on a reef of sunken rocks*, and remained 

* This reef, which, by the existiag charts, extf^q^s 



It was very soon indeed but too evident 
that any attempt to move her would be 
attended with the most fatal consequences ; 
for, on each side of the rocks on which 
she hung, the water deepened from ten to 
seventeen fathoms immediately around her; 
and, from the injury received, she must 
have gone down in a few minutes, had she 
forced her way over this narrow reef. The 
best bower anchor was therefore let go, to 
keep her fast ; and the pumps were soon 
abandoned, being clearly of no avail. 
Notwithstanding our perilous situation, 
not the slightest confusion or irregularity 
occurred : — every necessary order was as 
coolly given, and as steadily obeyed, as if 
nothing unusual had happened. 

The boats were now hoisted out, and 
Lieutenant Hoppner, with the barge and 
cutter, ordered to proceed with the Em- 
bassador and suite, and all those not 
essentially required, to the nearest part of 
the island, which seemed about three miles 
and a half distant. Meanwhile every ex- 
only half a league from tbe island of Piilo Leat^ we 
iound to run out three times th^t distance. 



ertion was used by the captain and officers, 
who remained by the ship, to secure what 
provisions and stores could be obtained ; a 
task of considerable labour and difficulty 
for all was under water, which now rose 
above the orlop-deck. 

When she struck the tide must have 
been rising, for, towards the afternoon, it 
fell outside, and consequently inside the 
ship several feet ; thereby enabling us to 
save ourselves from absolute starvation, by 
laying hold of some articles of provender 
which floated up, assisted by divers, and 
the boats were employed in conveying these 
to the shore. A raft was also constructed, 
on which were placed the heavier stores, 
with some baggage, and towed towards the 
island. By the return of those boats 
which carried his Excellency on shore, we 
learnt the very great difficulty of effecting 
a landing, the mangrove-trees growing out 
to a considerable distance in the water; 
and it was not until after ranging along- 
shore for nearly three miles fropi the place 
they at first attempted, that a small open- 
ing appeared, through which, by scranx- 



bling from rock to rock, they at last 
obtained a footing on terra jirma. Here, 
by cutting away a quantit}^ of the smaller 
jungle at the foot of a hill (for the island 
was completely overgrown with wood), a 
space was cleared away, where, under the 
shade of the loftier trees, they bivouacqued 
for that day and night. 

On board the ship, now fallen on her 
beam-ends, the work went on with activity, 
endeavouring to save whatever might be 
most useful on such an occasion ; but, 
towards midnight, as the tide rose, the 
swell of the sea lifted her from the rocks, 
and dashed her on them again with such 
violence, as to render it necessary to cut 
away the topmasts. At day -light, on Wed- 
nesday the 19th, Mr. M^Leod landed from 
the wreck with two men who had been 
severely wounded by the fall of the masts, 
and with a report of the state of affairs, 
from the captain to Lord Amherst. The 
spot in which our party were situated wa!s 
^sufficiently romantic, but seemed at the 
same time the abode of ruin and of havoc. 
Few of its inhabitants (and among the rest 



the Embassador) had more than a shirt or 
pair of trowsers on. The wreck of books, 
or, as it was not unaptly termed, a lite- 
rary manure, was spread about in all 
directions ; whilst parliamentary robes, 
court-dresses, and mandarin habits, inter- 
mixed with check shirts and tarry jackets, 
were hung around in wild confusion on 
every tree. 

On his lordship being informed that no 
fresh water had as yet been obtained from 
the ship, and that it was barely probable 
some might be got by scuttUng the lower 
deck, he desired every body might be 
called around him, and ordered that a gill 
of that which had been sent on shote the 
day before (what happened to be on deck 
in the dripstones and water-jugs), with half 
that quantity of rum, should be equally 
served out to every man without distinc- 
tion ; and, taking his own share tvith 
perfect good humour, afforded to others an 
example of calm fortitude, and a cheerfal 
readiness to share in every privation, which 
iiever fails on such occasions to have a 
powerful and beneficial effect, more espe- 



cially when that example is found, where 
it ought to be, in the first rank. 

Parties were now returning, who had 
been searching for water in vain, every 
attempt to dig for it having proved fruitless ; 
or, being too near the sea, salt water alone 
had oozed into the pits. At one spot they 
found the skeleton of a man, and the horrid 
idea of his having died from thirst rushed 
on every mind. Those who went into 
the wood on these excursions, were ob- 
liged to notch the trees, and leave marks 
as they advanced, in order to find their 
way back. 

In the forenoon. Captain Maxwell came 
on shore, to confer with Lord Amherst on 
the best mode to be adopted in the perilous 
situation in which they were then placed. 
The boats were utterly incapable of con- 
veying half our number any where ; and, 
as some must necessarily go to the nearest 
friendly port for assistance. Captain Max- 
well judged it best that his Excellency and 


suite should proceed with a proper guard 
for Batavia, or whatever part of Java they 
pould fetch, from whence vessels could be 


despatched tx) bring off those who remained 

This being what is termed the norths 
west monsoon, there was every likelihood 
of the boats reaching Java (the current 
being also in their favour) in three days ; 
and, by this arrangement, which very 
liappily was settled without loss of time, 
two grand purposes were answered, the 
nearest to the captain^s heart, and his first 
duty; viz., thid imnaediate conveyance of 
the Embassador and suite to a place of 
safety; and, by their safety, ensuring njpre 
effectually, than by any other means, that 
of the officers and men who remained with 
himself upon this desert isle. It was 
thought probable, that row-boats iftight be 
despatched from Batavia after the arrival 
of his Excellency, so as to reach the 
island (even against wind and current) in 
twelve or fifteen days; and, as Mr. Ellis 
volunteered to return with the first boat or 
vessel that shoved off to our assistaQcet 
an additional assurance was thus given, 
that, combined with the influence of .the 
Embassador with the Dutch governmenl^ 



no delay would occur in forwarding re- 
lief. After a short, and very slender f6te 
ehampStre in this wilderness (in which salt 
Was viewed with the same horror as arsenic), 
his lordship, about five in the evening, 
accompanied by the gentlemen of his suite, 
by Lieutenant Hoppner, in command of 
the boats, Mr. Mayne to navigate. Lieu- 
tenant Cooke, R. M. (with a party, as 
officer of the guard, in the event of falling 
in with any of the Malay pirates who infest 
these seas), Mn Blair, midshipman, and 
Mfv Somerset (who had come to see the 
Wrfld a little)v waded avt to the edge of 
tJie reef, and ■ embarked in the barge and 
cutter. They were in all forty-seven per- 
sons, and had with them a small stock of 
provisio69, consisting of a side of mutton, 
a ham, a tongue, about twenty pounds of 
coarse biscuit, and some few more of fine ; 
seven gallons of water, the same of beer, 
as many of spruce, and about thirty bot- 
tles of wine. This was all that could be 
spared ; and, being deemed equal to sus- 
tain nature for four or five days, in which 
period they must either n>ake the land, or 


be so disposed of as to require no provi- 
sions, it was considered sufficient by the 
party themselves, and they looked for no 
more. After pulling outwards a little way 
to clear all the rocks, they made sail to the 
southward, attended by the best wishes of 
every man of the island, and were soon out 
of sight. Our number left behind amounted 
to two hundred men and boys, and one 

The first measure of Captain Maxwell, 
after fixing a party to dig a well in a spot 
whidh was judged, from a combination o£ 
circumstances, the most likely to produce 
water, was to remove our bivouac to the 
top of an adjoining hill, where we could 
breathe a cooler and purer air ; a place in 
all respects not only better adapted to the 
preservation of our health, but to our de- 
fence in case of attack. A path was cut 
upwards, and a parly employed in clearing 
away and setting fire to the underwood on 
the summit. This last operation tended 
much to free us from myriads of ants, and 
of snakes, scorpions, centipedes, and other 
reptiles, which in such a place and climate 




generally abound. It was, probably, the 
first time they had ever been disturbed by 
man ; and on the present occasion they were 
literally beset with fire and sword, for in 
making their escape from the former, se- 
veral were killed by the cutlasses of the 
seamen : one snake about four or five feet in 
length was noticed of a beautiful pea-green 
colour. Another party was employed in 
removing upwards our small stock of pro- 
visions, which were deposited (under a strict 
guard), in a sort of natural magazine, form- 
ed by the tumbling together of some huge 
masses of rock on the highest part of this 
eminence. On board the wreck a party 
was stationed, endeavouring to gain any 
accession they could to our stock of provi- 
sions and arms, and to save any public stores 
that could be found. There was a commu- 
nication for this purpose between the shore 
and the ship whenever the tide permitted. 
For the last two days every one had expe- 
rienced much misery from thirst : a small 
cask of water (the only one which could be 
obtained from the ship) being scarcely equal 
to a pint each in the course of that period ; 


and perhaps no question was ever so 
anxiously repeated, as " What hope from 
the well V About eleven at night the dig- 
gers had got, by rather a tortuous direction 
(on account of large stones), as far down as 
twenty feet, when they came to a clayey or 
marly soil, that above it being a red earths 
which seemed rather moist, and had no- 
thing saline in the taste. At a little past 
midnight a bottle of muddy water was 
brought the captain as a specimen, and 
the moment it was understood to be fresh, 
the rush to the well was such as to impede 
the workmen; therefore it became necessary 
to plant sentries to enable them to complete 
their task, and permit the water to settle a 
little. Fortunately about this time a heavy 
shower of rain fell ; and, by spreading sheets, 
table-cloths, ^., and wringing them, some 
relief was afforded. There are few situa- 
tions in which men exposed without shelter 
to a torrent of rain would, as in the pre- 
sent instance, hail that circumstance as a 
blessing. Bathing in the sea. was also re- 
sorted to by many, in order to drink by 



absorption^ and they fancied it afforded some 

Thursday, 20th. This morning the 
captain, ordering all hands together, stated 
to them in few words, that every man, by 
the regulations of the navy, was as liable to 
answer for his conduct on the present as 
on any other occasion ; that as long as he 
lived, the same discipline should be exerted, 
and, if necessary, with greater rigour than 
aboard ; a discipline for the general welfare, 
which* he trusted every sensible man of 
the party must see the necessity of main- 
taining ; — assuring them, at the isame time, 
he would have much pleasure in recom- 
mending those who distinguished them- 
selves by the regularity and propriety of 
their conduct ; — that the provisions we had 
been able to save should be served out, 
although necessarily with a very sparing 
hand, yet with the most rigid equality to all 
ranks, until we obtained that relief which 
he trusted would soon follow the arrival of 
Lord Amherst at Java. 

During the first twenty-four hours, after 


digging the well, it afforded a pint of water 
for each man. It had a sweetish milk- 
and-water taste, something like the juice 
of the cocoa-nut, but nobody found fault 
with it ; on the contrary, it diffused that 
sort of happiness which only they can 
know who have felt the horrible sensation of 
thirst under a vertical sun, subject at the 
same time to a harassing and fatiguing duty. 
It was happily said, when mixed with a 
little rum, to resemble milk-punch; and 
we endeavoured to persuade ourselves that 
it was so^ This day was employed in get- 
ting up every thing from the foot of the 
hill; the boats were also passing to and 
from the ship, but unfortunately almost 
every thing of real value to us in our pre- 
sent case was under water. We were in 
hopes, however, that, as no bad weath^ 
was likely to happen, we might be enabled 
by scuttling- at low water, or by burning 
her upper-works, to acquire many useful 

On Friday (21st) .the party stationed 
at the ship found themselves, soon after 
day-light^ surrounded bj" a number of 


Malay proas, apparently well armed, an^ 
full of men* Without a single sword or 
musquet for defence, they had just time to 
throw themselves into the boat alongside 
and push for the shore, chased by the 
pirates, who, finding two of our other boats 
push out to their assistance, gave up the 
pursuit, but returned to the ship, and took 
possession of her. Soon afterwards a re- 
port was sent from the midshipman sta- 
tioned on the look-out rock, that the sa- 
vages, armed with spears, were landing at 
a point about two miles off. Under all the 
depressing circumstances attending ship- 
wreck; — of hunger, thirst, and fatigue; 
and menaced by a ruthless foe; it was 
glorious to see the British spirit staunch 
and unsubdued. The order was given for 
every man to arm himself in the best way 
he could, and it was obeyed with the ut* 
most promptitude and alacrity. Rude pike- 
staves were formed, by cutting down young 
saplings; small swords, dirks, knives, 
chisels, and even large spikenails sharp- 
ened, were firmly affixed to the ends of 
these poles ; and those who could find no- 



thing better hardened the end of the wood 
in the fire, and, bringing it to a sharp 
point, formed a tolerable weapon* There 
were, perhaps, a dozen cutlasses ; the nm- 
rines had about thirty muskets and bayo- 
nets, but could muster no more than se- 
venty-five ball-cartridges among the whole 
party. We had fortunately preserved some 
loose powder drawn from the upper-deck 
guns after the ship had struck, (for the 
magazine was under water in five minutes,) 
and the marines, by cutting oflf their but- 
tons and hammering them round, and by 
rolling up pieces of broken bottles in car- 
tridges, did their best to supply themselves 
with a sort of langrage which would have 
some effect on the naked bodies of their ene- 
mies at close quarters, and strict orders were 
given not to throw away a single shot until 
sure of their aim. Mr. Cheffy, the carpen- 
ter, and his crew, under the direction of the 
captain, were busied in forming a sort of 
abattis, by felling trees, and enclosing in a 
circular shape the ground we occupied ; 
and, by interweaving loose branches with 
the stakes driven in among these, a breast- 



work was constructed, which afforded us 
some cover, and must naturally impede the 
progress of any enemy unsupplied with 
artillery. That part of the island we had 
landed on was a narrow ridge, not above 
musquet-shot across, bounded on one side 
by the sea, and on the other by a creek, 
extending upwards of a mile inland, and 
nearly communicating with the sea at its 
head. Our hill was the outer point of this 
tongue, and its shape might be very well 
represented by an inverted punch-bowl : 
the circle on which the bowl stands would 
then show the fortification ; and the space 
within it our citadel. 

It appeared by the report of scouts, a 
short lime after the first account, that the 
Malays had not actually landed, but had 
taken possession of some rocks near this 
point, on which they depmited a quantity 
of plunder brought from the ship; and 
during the day they continued making 
these predatory trips. 


In the evening all hands were mustered 
under arms, and a motJey group they pre- 
sented ; it was gratifying, however, to ob- 



serve, that, rude as were their implements 
of defence, there seemed to be no want of 
spirit to use them if occasion offered. Even 
the little boys had managed to make fast a 
table-fork, or something of that kind, on 
the end of a stick, for their defence. One 
of the men who had been so severely bruised 
by the falling of the masts, and was slimg 
in his hammock between two trees, had 
been observed carefully jfeAmg, or fixing, 
with two sticks and a rope-yarn, the blade 
of an old razor. — On being asked what he 
meant to do with it, he replied, " You 
" know I cannot stand ; but, if any of 
" these fellows come within reach of my 
^* hammock, 1 11 mark them.^^ We were 
now marshalled regularly into di£ferent di- 
visions and companies, whose various posts 
were assigned, and other arrangements 
made^ An officer and party were ordered 
to take charge of the boats for tibe night, 
and they were hauled closer in to the land- 
ing-place. An alarm which occurred 
during the night shewed the benefit of these 
regulations, for, on a sentry challenging a 
iioise among the bushes, every one was at 



his post in an instant, and without the least 

On Saturday morning (2 2d,) some of 
the Malay boats approached the place 
where ours were moored; and, with the 
view of ascertaining whether they had any 
inclination to communicate on friendly 
terms, the gig, with an officer and four 
hands, pulled gently towards them, waving 
a small branch of a tree, (the general sym- 
bol of peace every where,) shewing the 
usual demonstrations of friendship, and of 
a desire to speak to them ; but all was vain, 
for they were merely reconnoitring our po- 
sition, and immediately pulled back to 
their rock. 

The second lieutenant (Mr. Hay) was 
now ordered with the barge, cutter, and gig, 
armed in the best way we could, to proceed 
to the ship, and regain possession of her, 
either by fair means or by force ; the pirates 
not appearing, at this time, to have more 
than eighty men. Those on the rocks, 
seeing our boats approach, threw all their 
plunder into their vessels, and made off. 
Two of the largest proas were now at work 


on the ship ; but, on observing their com- 
rades abandon the rock, and the advance 
of the boats, they also made sail away, 
having previously set fire to the ship, which 
they did so effectually, that in a few mi- 
nutes the flames, burst from every port, 
and she was soon enveloped in a cloud of 
smoke. The boats were unable to board 
her, and therefore returned. 

Hiere was a period to every hope of ac- 
commodation with these people, if, indeed^ 
any reasonable hope could ever have been 
entertained on that head. The Malays, 
more especially those wandering and pira- 
tical tribes, who roam about the coasts 
of Borneo, Billiton, and the wilder parts of 
Sumatra, are a race of savages, perhaps 
the most merciless and inhuman to be 
found in any part of the world. The 
Battas are literally cannibals. In setting 
fire to the ship, they gave a decided proof 
of their disposition to us; but, although 
certainly with no good intention, they did 
merely what we intended to do ; for, by 
burning her upper works and decks, evpry 


thing buoyant could float up from below, 
and be more easily laid hold of. 

The ship continued burning during the 
whole of the night ; and the flames, which 
were seen through the openings of the 
trees, shed a melancholy glare around, and 
excited the most mournful ideas.. This 
night also all hands were suddenly under 
arms again, frpm a marine firing his mus^ 
quet at what be very properly considered 
a suspicious character near his post, who 
appeared advancing upon him, and refused 
to answer after being repeatedly hailied. We 
found out at daylight that the branch, of a 
tree, half-cut through the day before, had 
given way, under one of a race of large 
baboons, which we found about this time 
disputed the possession of the island with 
us. At the well, where there generally was 
kept a good fire at night, on account of the 
mosquitoes, the sentries had more than 
once been alarmed by these gentlemea 
shewing their black faces from behind the 
trees. They became so extremely trouble- 
some to some ducks we had saved from the 


wreck, (seizing and carrying them up the 
trees, and letting them fall down again 
when alarmed,) that on several occasions 
they left their little yard, and came up 
among the people, when the monkeys got 
among them, thus instinctively preferring 
the society of man for protection. 

On Sunday morning, (23d,) the boats 
were sent to the still-smoking wreck, and 
some flour, a few cases of wine, and a cask 
of beer, had floated up. This last God- 
send was announced just at the conclusion 
of divine service, which was this morning 
held in the mesfr-tent, and a pint was or- 
dered to be immediately served out to each 
man, which called forth three cheers *. 
This seems to be the only style in which a 
British seaman can give vent to the warmer 
feelings of his heart. It is his mode of 

* Some decorously righteous man, observing to the 
chaplain that he had never seen such a scene in England 
as the congregation cheering at the church-door, the 
latter replied, with {H-oper liberality, (and tolerable good 
humour,) " perhaps you never saw a thirsty English 
audience dismissed with the promise of a pint of beer 


thanksgiving for benefits received ; and it 
equally serves him to honour his friend, to 
defy his enemy, or to proclaim victory. 
This day we continued improving our fence, 
and clearing away a glacis immediately 
around it, that we might see and have fair 
play with these barbarians, should they ap- 
proach. They had retired behind a little 
islet, (called Pulo Chalacca, or Misfortune's 
Isk,) about two miles from us, and seemed 
waiting there for reinforcements ; for some 
of their party had made sail towiards 

Monday morning, (24th,) the boats, as 
yesterday, went to the wreck, and returned 
with some casks of flour, only partially da-* 
maged; a few cases of wine, and about 
forty boarding-pikes, with eighteen mus- 
quets, were also laid hold of. With the loose 
powder secured out of the great guns in the 
first instance, Mr. Holman, the gunner, had 
been actively employed, forming musqueU 
cartridges; and by melting down some 
pewter basins and jugs, with a small quan- 
tity of lead, lately obtained from the wreck, 
balls were cast in clay moulds, increasing 


not a little our confidence and security. 
Our daily allowance from the well hitherto 
had increased to a quart of water each ; 
and on this day a second was completed 
near the foot of the hill, in another direc- 
tion, which not only supplied water in 
greater plenty, but of a clearer quality; and 
we could now, without restriction, indulge 
in the luxury of a long drinks not caring 
even to excite thirst, in order to enjoy 
that luxury in higher perfection. 

On Tuesday, (25th,) the boats made 
their usual trip ; some more cases of wine, 
and a few boarding-pikes were obtained, 
both excellent articles in their way, in the 
hands of men who are inclined to entertain 
either their friends or their foes. On shore 
we were employed completing the paths to 
the wells, and felling trees which inter- 
cepted our view of the sea. 

Wednesday, (26th,) at day-light, two of 
the pirate proas, with each a canoe astern, 
were discovered prowling close in with the 
co^^e where our boats were moored. Lieu- 
tenant Hay, (a straight-forward sort of 
fellow,) who had the guard that night at 



the boats, and of course slept in them, im^ 
mediately dashed at them with the barge, 
cutter, and gig. On perceiving this, they 
cut adrift their canoes, and made all sail 
chased by our boats ; they rather distanced 
the cutter and gig, but the barge gained 
upon them. On closing, the i Malays 
evinced every sign of defiance, placing 
themselves in the most threatening atti- 
tudes, and firing their swivels at the barge. 
This was returned by Mr. Hay with the 
only musket he had in the boat ; and, as 
they closed nearer, the Malays commenced 
throwing their javelins and darts,, several 
falling into the barge, but without wound- 
ing any of the men. Soon after they were 
grappled by our fellows, when three of 
them having been shot, and a fourth 
knocked down with the butt end of the 
musket, five more jumped overboard and 
drowned themselves, (evidently disdaining 
quarter,) and two were taken prisoners, 
one of whom was severely wounded. This 
close style of fighting is termed by seamen 
man-handling an enemy. 

The Malays had taken some measure to 

. 1 



sink their proa, for she went down almost 
immediately* Nothing could exceed the 
desperate ferocity of these people. One 
of those who had been shot through the 
body, but was not quite dead, on being 
removed into the barge, with a view of 
saving him, (as his own vessel was sinking,) 
furiously grasped a cutlass which came 
within his reach, and it was not without a 
struggle wrenched from his hand : he died 
in a few minutes. The consort of this 
proa, firing a parting shot, bore up round 
the north end of the island, and escaped. 
Their canoes * (which we found very useful 

* During the time the boats were absent in chase, 
Mr. Fisher, anxious to secure one of the canoes, which 
was drifting past with the current^ swam out towards it. 
When within a short distance of his object, an enormous 
shark was seen hovering near him, crossing and re«cross- 
ing, as they are sometimes observed to do, before making 
a seizure. To have called out might probably have un- 
nerved him (for he was unconscious of his situation), and 
it was resolved to let him proceed without remark to 
the canoe, which was the nearest point of security. 
Happily he succeeded in getting safely into it, whilst 
the shark, by his too long delay, lost a very wholesome 

E 2 



to US,) were also brought on shore, contain^ 
ing several articles of plunder from the ship. 
They appeared to be the two identical 
proas which set fire to her. The prison- 
ers (the one rather elderly, the other 
young) when brought on shore, seemed to 
have no hope of being permitted to live, 
and sullenly awaited their fate; but, on 
the wounds of the younger being dressed, 
the hands of the other untied, and food 
offered to them, with other marks of kind- 
ness, they became more cheerful, and ap- 
peared especially gratified at seeing one of 
their dead companions, who had been 
brought on shore, decently buried^ 

Not wishing to shew them our strong hold 
on the hill, it was agreed to put them under 
charge of the sentries at the new well j and in 
carrying them there they passed th6 place 
where the seamen were performing this 
duty. They also pointed to the spot where 
we had found the skeleton, and made a 
number of signs, from which we inferred 
they had some knowledge of that person^s 
raie* « • . ■ 


The Malays are a people of very un- 


prepossessing aspect; their bodies of a 
deep bronze colour ; their black teeth and 
reddened lips, (from chewing the betel-nut 
and siri), their gaping nostrils, and lank 
clotted hair hanging about their shoulders 
and over their scowHng countenances, give 
them altogether a fiend-like and murderous 
look. They are likewise an unjoyous race, 
and seldom smile • 

The state of one of the wounds received 
by the Malay (his knee-joint being pene- 
trated, and the bone& much injured)^ wojuld 
have justified, more particularly in this kind 
of field practice, amputatian ; but^ on con- 
sideration that it would be impossible to 
convince him of this being done with the 
intention of benefitting him, and might 
have the appearance of tortul'e, which it 
was not improbable might suggest the ide^ 
of amputation and other operations to theun, 
in the event of any, or all of us, falling into 
their hands, it was determined, therefore^ 
to try the effect of a good constitution^, 
and careful attention , A little wigwam was 
built, and a blanket and other comforts 
given to him, his comrade being appointed 



his cook and attendant. They refused at 
first the provisions we offered them ; but, 
on giving them some rice to prepare in 
their own way, they seemed satisfied. 
Never expecting quarter, when over- 
powered in their piratical attempts, and 
having been generally tortured when taken 
alive, may account for the others drowning 

In the forenoon, immediately after this 
rencontrcj fourteen proas and smaller boats 
appeared standing across from the Banca 
side, and soon aft;er they anchored behind 
Pulo Chalacca. Several of their people 
landed, and carrying up some bundles on 
their shoulders, left them in the wood, and 
returned for more. We had some hope, 
from the direction in which they first ap- 
peared, as well as from their anchoring at 
that spot (the rendezvous agreed upon at 
the departure of Lord Amherst), that they 
might have come from Batavia to our 

The small flag (belonging to the em- 
bassy) was brought down and displayed 
on the look-out rock ; the strangers, each. 


immediately hoisted some f^ag at their 
mast-he^ds. Anxious to know still more 
about them, Mr. Sykes was allowed to 
advance with the union-jack, accompanied 
by some more of the young gentlemen, 
along the strand, to a considerable dis- 
tance ; and soon after some of their party, 
with a flag, set off to meet them. , As they 
mutually approached, the Malays drop- 
ped a little in the rear of their flag-bearer, 
and laid down their arms ; our party also fell 
astern, and did the same, when the two an- 
cients (or colour men), wading into a cre^k 
which separated them, cautiously naet each 
other. The Malay salammed a good , deal : 
many fine Yorkshire bows were made on the 
other side: shaking hands was the jaextcere* 
mony,. and then, joining flags, they wp^lked 
up arm and^ arm to the place where, the 
captain and several others were stationed. 
Satisfied now they must be friends sent to 


our assistance, they were welcomed with 
cheers, and every countenance was glad- 
dened. But our joy was of short dura- 
tion; for, although their flag was laid sub- 
missively at the captain's feet, and all were 


sufficiently civil in their deportment, yet 
they turned out to be mere wanderers-^ 
employed gathering a sort of sea-weed, 
found on the coast of these (but in still 
greater abundance among the Pelew) 
islands, said by some to be an article of 
commerce with the Chinese epicures, who 
use it like the bird-nests in their soup^. 
All this was made out chiefly by signs^ 
added to a few Malay words which some 

Mr. Hay, with his division armed, pro- 
ceeded down to their anchorage, himself 
and some other officers, going pn board 
with their Rajah (as they styled him), wbo 
expressed a great desire to see the obtain 
on board, and sent him a present of a piece 
of fish, and some cocoa-nut milk. During 
the night, many schemes were proposed as 
to the best mode of negotiating with these 
people. Some thought that, by the hope 
of reward, they might be induced to carry 
part of us to Java, and our four remaining 
boats would then be equal to the convey- 
ance of the rest. Others, adverting to the 
treacherous character of the Malays, and 

t6 china, COREA, and LfiWCHEW. 24^ 

the great temptation to murder us when 
in their power, from that sort of property 
still in our possession, and to them of great 
value, considered it safest to seize upon 
and disarm them, carrying ourselves to 
Batavia,and then most amply to remunerate 
them for any inconvenience they might 
have sustained from being pressed into the 

The morning of Thursday, the 27th, 
however, perfectly relieved us from any 
further discussion on this subject, the 
Rajah and his suite having proceeded to 
plunder the wreck, which by this time they 
had espied. It is evident, they widre not 
certain of our real situation on the first 
evening, but, most probably, supposed, 
from seeing the uniforms, colours, and other 
military appearance, that some settlement, 
as at Mintau, (in the Island of Banca,) had 
been established there. This may also ac- 
count for theiT civility in the first instance ; 
for, from the moment their harpy-like 
spirit was excited by the wreck, and they 
saw our actual condition, there were no 
more offerings offish, or of cocoa-nut milk^ 



To have sent the boats openly to attack 
them was judged impolitic ; it would only 
have driven them off for a moment, and 
put them on their guard against surprise 
by night, should it be thought necessary, 
in a day or two, to do so. They could 
deprive us of little ; for the copper bolts 
and iron work, which they were now most 
interested about, were not to us of material 

We had the day before moved the boats 
into another cove, more out of sight (from 
the overspreading branches of the trees), 
and safer in case of attack, being cpvered 
by two strong httle posts, erected on the 
rocks immediately above it, and wattled in^ 
where an officer and piquet w^re nightly 
placed. One of these, called Fort Impreg- 
nable, was situated on the top of a rock, 
a little detached from the edge of a precir 
pice, a rude draw-bridge, formed of young 
trees being thrown across this cleft. A 
small party of half a dozen in this placq, 
with musquetry, completely commanded 
the boats, whilst they were enabled to bid 
defiance to any number of assailants, merely 


by pushing down their bridge. A new 
serpentine path was also cut down to this 
inlet, communicating with our main posi- 
tion aloft. 

On Friday, the 28th, the Malays were 
still employed on the wreck. A boat 
approached us in the forenoon ; but, on 
the gig going out to meet itj they refused 
to correspond, and returned to their party. 
No relief having appeared from Batavia, 
and the period being elapsed at which (as 
was now thought) we had reason to expect 
it, measures were taken, by repairing the 
launch, and constructing a firm raft, to 
give us additional powers of transporting 
ourselves from our present abode, before 
our stock of provisions was entirely ex- 

On Saturday, the 1st of March, the 
Malays acquired a great accession of 
strength, by the arrival of fourteen more 
proas from the northward (probably of the 
old party), who joined in breaking up the 
remains of the wreck. 

At day-light, on Sunday the 2d, still 
greater force having joined them during 


the night, the pirates (leaving a number at 
work on the wreck) advanced, with up- 
wards of twenty of their heaviest vessels, 
towards our landing-place; fired one of 
their patereroes; beat their gongs; and, 
making a hideous yelling noise, they an- 
chored in a line, about a cable's length 
from our cove. We were instantly under 
arms, the party covering the boats strength- 
ened, and scouts sent out to watch their 
motions, as some of their boats had gone 
up the creek at the back of our position, 
and to beat about, lest any should be laying 
in ambush from the land. About this^time, 
the old Malay prisoner, who was tinder 
charge of the sentries at the well, and who 
had been incautiously trusted by them to 
cut some wood for the fire, hearing the 
howling of his tribe, left his wounded 
comrade to shift for himself, ran off into 
the wood, and escaped, carrying with him 
his hatchet. We stood, for some time, 
looking at each other, in this state of pre- 
paration, when, finding they did not com* 
mence their attack, an officer was sent a 
little outside the cove in a canoe, waving 



in a friendly manner, tx> try how they 
would act in this way. After some deli- 
beration, one of their boats, with several 
men armed with creeses, or their crooked 
daggers, approached : here, as usual, little 
could be made out, except a display of 
their marauding spirit, by taking a fancy 
to the shirt and trowsers of one of the 
young gentlemen in the canoe; but, on 
hie refusing to give them up, they used no 

A letter was now written, and addressed 
to the chief authority at Mintau, a small 
settlement on the northwest point of Banca, 
stating the situation in which we were 
placed, and requesting him to forward, if 
in his power, one or two small vessels to us, 
with^a little bread and salt provisions, and 
some ammunition. Again the officer went 
out in the canoe, and was again met by 
the Malay boat. This letter was given to 
£hem, the word -. Mintau repeatedly pro- 
nounced, (which they seemed to under- 
stand, the direction pointed out,) and signs 
made that on their return with an answer 
they should be rewarded with abundance 



of dollars, shewing them one as a specimen. 
This was done more to try them than with 
any hope of their perfomung the service ; 
for, although a boat went down to Pulo 
Chalacca, (where they appeared to have 
somebody in superior authority,) yet none 
took the direction of Banca. 

Meantime their force rapidly increased, 
their proas and boats of different sizes 
amounting to fifty. The larger had from 
sixteen to twenty men ; the smaller about 
seven or eight ; so that, averaging even at 
the low rate of ten each, they had fully 
five hundred, men. The wreck seemed 
now nearly exhausted, and appeared to be 
a very secondary object, knowing the chief 
booty must be in our possession ; and they 
blockaded us with increasing rigour, draw- 
ing closer into the cove, more especially 
at high water, fearful lest our boats, being 
afloat at that period, should push out and 
escape them. In the afternoon, some of 
the Rajah's people (whom we at first mis- 
took for friends) made their appearance, as 
if seeking a parley ; and, on our advancing 
to them, gave us to understand by signs. 


and as many words as could be made out, 
that all the Malays, except their party ^ were 
extremely hostile to us ; that it was their 
determination to attack us that night; and 
urging also that some of their people 
should sleep up the hill, in order to pro- 
tect us. Their former conduct and present 
connexions displayed so evidently the 
treachery of this offer, that it is needless to 
say it was rejected, giving them to under- 
stand we could trust to ourselves. They 
immediately returned to their gang, who 
certainly assumed a most menacing attitude. 
In the evening, when the officers and men 
were assembled under arms, in order to 
inspect them, and settle the watches for 
the night, the captain spoke to them with 
much animation, almost verbatim, as fol- 
lows : " My lads, you must all have ob- 
served this day, as well as myself, the 
great increase of the enemy^s force, for 
" enemies we must now consider them, 
" and the threatening posture they have 
^ assumed. I have, on various grounds, 
strong reason to believe they will attack 
us this night. I do not wish to conceal 



" our real state, because I think there is 
" not a man here who is afraid to face any 
" sort of danger. We are now strongly 
" fenced in, and our position is in all 
" respects so good, that, armed as we are, 
we ought to make a formidable defence 
against even regular troops : what then 
would be thought of us, if we allowed 
ourselves to be surprised by a set of 
naked savages, with their spears and 
creeses ? It is true, they have swivels in 
" their boats, but they cannot act here, 
" I have not observed that they have any 
" matchlocks or musquets ; but, if they have, 
" so have we. I do not mean to deceive 
you as to the means of resistance in our 
power. When we were first thrown toge- 
** ther on shore, we were almost defence- 
*' less ; seventy-five ball-cartridges only 
" could be mustered : we have now sixteen 
** hundred ! They cannot, I believe, send ^ 
" up more than five hundred men ; but, 
*' with two hundred such as now stand 
** around me, I do not fear a thousand, 
^* nay, fifteen hundred of them! I have the 
*^ fullest confidence we shall beat them; 




** the pike-men standing firm, we can give 
*' them such a volley of musquetry as they 
" will be little prepared for ; and, when we 
^* find they are thrown into confusion, we^ll 
** sally out among them, chase them into 
^ the water, and ten to one but we secure 
** their vessels. Let every man, therefore, 
** be on the alert with his arms in his 
*^ hands ; and, should these barbarians 
^ this night attempt our hill, I truit we 
^' shall convince them that they are dealing 
" with Britons/^ Perhaps three jollier 
hurras were nevei* given than at the con- 
clusion of this short but well-timed address. 
The woods fairly echoed again ; whilst the 
piquet at the cove, and those stationed at 
the wells, the instant it caught their ear, 
instinctively joined their sympathetic cheers 
jto the general chorus. 

There was something like unity and con- 
cord in such a sound, (one neither resem- 
bling the feeble shout nor savage yell,) 
which, rung in the ears of these gentlemen, 
no doubt had its effect ; for about this time 
(8 P. M.) they were observed making signals 
with lights to some of their tribe behind the 




islet. If ever seamen or marines had a 
strong inducement to fight, it was on the 
present occasion, for every thing conduced 
to animate them. The feeHng excited by a 
savage, cruel, and inhospitable aggression 
on the part of the Malays, — an aggression 
adding calamity to misfortune,— ^roused 
every mind to a spirit of just revenge ; and 
the apped now made to them on the scoi^ 
of n^iofnal character was not likely to let 
that feelitig cool. That they might come 
seemed to Ite^e anxious npsh of every 
heart. Aflef^f^ slender ibut cheerful 
repast, the officers and men laid down as 
usual upon their arms, whilst the captain 
remained with those on guard to ^perintend 
his an'angements. An alarm during the 
night shewed the effect of preparation on 
the people's minds, for all like lightning 
were at their posts, and returned growling 
and disappointed because the alarm was 

Day-light, on Monday the Sd, discovered 
the pirates exactly in the same position in 
front of us ; ten mor#« vessels having joined 
them during the night, making their num- 


ber now at least six hundred njien. The 
plot b<$gan to iJiiipken^ an4 oi|r situatioxi 
became hojiiiriy roere criticfiL Their foree 
r^idlj aceumul^mg, and our ti|;t]Le ^todc 
of provisions daily shorjteuing, r^e»d^red 
some desperate measure immediately ne- 

That they should become assailants w^s 
evidently the most desirable obj^t ; for: 
the TOut ajad carnage ^.mong them ^ which 
must have been the inevitgWe consequence 
of such an attempt, would also have alTorded 
us the most favourable ^opportunity of ac- 
tion, and of carrying ^our point. They 
appeared cunning enough, however, to 
defer this until they had an overwhelming 
force, or waited to starve us out. As a 
few days more would have brought about 
^ther of these advantageous circumstances 
for the enemy, the conduct which seemed 
mo^t feasible for us was, by a sudden night 
attack, with our four boats well armed, to 
carry by boarding some of theii* vessels, 
and, by manning the prizes, repeat our 
attack with increased force, taking more, 
or dispersing them. The possession of 

6 2 



some of their proas, in addition to our own 
boats, (taking into consideration that our 
numbers would be thinned on the occasion,) 
might have enabled us to shove off for Java, 
in defiance of them. Any attempt to move 
on a raft, with their vessels playing round 
it, armed with swivels, was clearly impos- 

Awful as our situation was, and every 
hour becoming more so; — starvation staring 
us in the face, on one hand, and without a 
hope of mercy from the savages on the 
other; — yet were there no symptoms of 
depression, or gloomy despair; every mind 
seemed buoyant ; and, if any estimate of 
the general feeling could be collected from 
countenances ; from the manner and ex- 
pressions of all; there appeared to be 
formed in every breast, a calm determi- 
nation to dash at them, and be successful ; 
• or to fall, as became men, in the attempt . 
to be free. 

About noon on this day, whilst schemes 
and proposals were flying about, as to the 
mode of executing the measures in view, 
Mr. Johnston, (ever on the alert,) who had 


mounted the look-out tree, one of the 
loftiest on the summit of our hill, descried 
a sail at a great distance to the southward, 
which he thought larger than a Malay 
vessel. The buz of conversation was in 
a moment hushed, and every eye fixed 
anxiously on the tree for the next report, 
a signal-man and telescope being instantly 
sent up. She was now lost sight of from 
a dark squall overspreading that part of 
the horizon, but in about twenty minutes 
she again emerged from the cloud, and was 
decidedl^y annoiunced to be a square-rigged 
vessel. " Are you quite suce of that V was 
eagerly inquired : — " Quite certain"' was the 
reply : — " it is either a ship or a brig stand- 
ing towards the island, under all sail !*' — ^The 
joy this happy sight infused, and the gra- 
titude of every heart at this prospect of 
deliverance, may be more easily conceived 
than described. It occasioned a sudden 
transition of the mind from one train of 
thinking to another, as if waking from a 
disagreeable dream. We immediately dis- 
played our colours on the highest branch 



of the tree, to attract attention » lest she 
should only be a passing stranger. 

The pirates soon after this discovered 
the ship, (a signal having been made with 
a gun by those anchored behind Fulo 
Chalacca,) which occasioned an evident 
stir among them. We had not forgotten 
the debt we owed to these worthies, and all 
were anxious to discharge their share of it 
before we parted company. As the water 
was ebbing fast, it was thought possible, 
by an unexpected rush out to the edge of 
the reef, to get soiiie of them ufider fire, 
and secure them. They seemed, however, 
to have suspected our purpose; for, the 
moment the seamen and marinies appeared 
from under the mangroves, the 
proa let fly her swivel among a paifty of 
the oflScers, who had been previoutsiy 
wading outwards*, and the whole^ instantly 
getting under weigh, made sail oflF, fired 
upon by our people, but unfortunately 
without effect ; for, in addition to the 

* The shot was picked up by one of the young gen- 
tlemen, and appeared to be of malleable iron, not qiiite 
round. ' 



dexterous management of their vesseb, 
the wind enabled them to weather the 
rocks ; two only, in tacking^ struck upon 
a reef to windward of us, but got off again. 
It was pleasing to see the anxiety of the 
marines to keep their powder dry, by 
buckling their cartouch-boxes on their 
breasts, and swivelling their musquets 
above that level, as they loaded and fired, 
whilst the seamen with their pikes, like 
water-dogs, pushed out to board them. 
It was fortunate, however, this attack on 
them took place, and that it had the effect 
of driving them away ; for, had they stood 
their ground, we were as much in their 
power as ever, the ship being obliged to 
anchor eight miles to leeward of the island, 
and eleven or twelve from our position, on 
account of the wind and current; and, as 
this wind and current continueii the same 
for some time afterwards, they niight, miost 
easily, (with their force,) have cut off aU 
communication between us. Indeed, it 
was a most providential and extraordinary 
circumstance, during this monsoon, that 
the ship was able to fetch up so far as she 



did. The blockade being now raised, the 
gig, with Messrs. Sykes and Abbot, was 
despatched to the ship, which proved to 
be the Temate, one of the company's 
cruizers, sent by Lord Amherst to our 
assistance, having on board Messrs. Ellis 
and Hoppner, who had embarked on the 
day]of their arrival at Batavia, and hastened 
back to the island. 

The gig was able to return (being a light 
boat) ; but our friends, who attempted to 
pull ashore in the cutter, were compelled 
to put back, after struggling with the 
current for nine hours, during the night of 
Monday, and morning of Tuesday, the4tb. 
That day was employed in^ getting all the 
moveables we had saved from the wreck 
ready for embarkation « 

Wednesday, the 5th, landed Messrs. El- 
lis and Hoppner. The recollection of the 
voluntary promise made by the former at 
parting, now fulfilled, and re-appearing as 
a deliverer, added to the many interesting 
and peculiar circumstances of the meeting, 
gave a new glow to every feeling of friend- 
ship, and, on entering Fort Maxwell, they 


were received with heartfelt acclamation 
by the whole garrison under arms. 

This fortification^ and its inhabitants^ 
had altogether a very singular and romantic 
look. The wigwams, or dens, as they 
were called, of some, neatly formed by 
branches, and thatched with the palm-leaf, 
scattered about at the feet of the majestic 
trees, which shaded our circle; the rude 
tents of others; the tm'eckedj unshaven, 
ragged appearance of the men, with pikes 
and cutlasses in their hands, gave, more 
especially by fire-light at night, a wild 
and picturesque effect to this spot, far 
beyond any robber-scene the imagination 
can portray. 

Two of the Ternate's boats also arrived 
with a twelve-pounder carronade, some 
round and grape, and musquet ammuni^ 
tion, in the event of the pirates thinking 
proper to return before we had finished our 
business; which, from the difficulty of 
communicating, required the whole of 
Wednesday to perform. 

On Thursday, the 6th, the majority of 
the oflBcers and men embarked in the boats 



(now increased in number), and proceeded 
to the Ternate ; the raft, also, with the 
second lieutenant, surgeon, assistant sur- 
geon, carpenter, forty-six men, and a 
cow, (forming altogether a very convivial 
party,) got under sail, and, after a com- 
fortable cold-bath navigation, of eight 
hours, reached the ship after dark. Every 
article which could not be carried off, and 
was thought might be of the slightest use 
to the savages, was piled into a heap, on 
the top of the hill, and made into a bon- 

At midnight, the boats returned to bring 
off Captain Maxwell, and those remaining 
with him ; the whole arriving safe on board 
the Ternate on the morning of the 7th of 
March, where we were most hospitably 
received by Captain Davidson and his 

The island of Pulo Leat is about six 
miles long, and five broad ; situate about 

* The wounded Malay^ now far advanced in his 
recovery, was also carried to Batavia, and was (although 
with rather a disabled joint) employed on board the 
Ternate. Late accounts describe him as having become 
tolerably civilized. 


two degrees and a half to the southward of 
the equator : it lies next to Banca, and is 
m the line of islands between it and Borneov 
As far as we could explore, (and exploring 
was no easy task,) it appeared to produce 
nothing for the use of man. We found a 
great nunf>ber of the rinds of what we after- 
wards discovered at Batavia to be the far- 
famed and delicious mangustin, which only 
thrives near the Line ; — but the baboons, 
who manage to live here, had previously 
monopolized all the fruit. Had we found 
any entire, we might have indulged in 
them, even without knowing their nature ; 
as, more especially in a case of short 
commons like ours, there could be no 
great danger in following the example of a 
monkey. One of these baboons, which, 
from having a young one in its arms, 
appeared to be a female, sat gazing at us 
one day from a tree which overlooked our 
position. Our people, who had been much 
teased by the alarms they had occasioned, 
were eager to shoot it, and some wag swore 
it was a Malay in disguise, examining the 
camp ; but the captain would not allo^if this 


to be dohe, because, in the first place, the 
creature was doing no harm ; and, in the 
next, we wanted ammunition for more im- 
portant purposes. We found a number of 
oysters adhering to the rocks along the sea- 
shore, which, at first, we were afraid to eat, 
from their exciting thirst ; but as soon as 
we were happy enough to obtain a sufficient 
supply of water, they very speedily dis- 

The soil of the island appeared ta be 
capable of aflfordiiig any production of the 
torrid zone, and, if cleared and cultivated^ 
would be a very pretty place. The tree 
which produces the caoutchouc, or Indian 
rubber, grows here. 

From something like smoke having been 
repeatedly observed rising at one particular 
place among the trees, about a mile from 
the head of our creek, it was by some 
imagined that either the island was peo- 
pled, or that the savages had taken post 
there- In various attempts, however, to 
reconnoitre this spot, no trace of human 
footstep could be found, being, in every 
direction, an impenetrable thicket; and 



we ultimately ascertained that it was entirely 

The small stock of provisions saved from 
the wreck, and the uncertainty of our stay 
on the island, rendered economy in their 
distribution, as well as the preventing any 
waste or abuse, a most important duty. 
The mode adopted by Captain Maxwell, 
to make things go as far as possible, was 
to chop up the allowance for the day into 
small pieces, whether fowls, salt beef, 
pork, or flour, mixing the whole hotch- 
potch, boiling them together, and serving 
out a measure of this to every man, publicly 
and openly*, and without any distinc- 
tion. By these means no nourishment 
was lost ; it could be more equally divided 
than by any other way; and, although 
necessarily a scanty, it was not an un- 
savoury, mess. All the bread, except a 

* Truth requires it to be stated, and it may naturally 
be supposed, that, among so many, one or two progging 
sort of people might be observed, who had no disinclina- 
tion to a little more than their just allowance; but the 
general feeling was much too manly and fine to admit of 


few pounds, was lost. The men had half 
allowance of rum divided between dinner 
and supper, (sometimes more on hard 
fags,) and the officers' two glasses of wine 
at dinner, and a quarter allowance of rum 
(a small dram-glass) at supper. It is 
astonishing how soon order sprung out 
of confusion, and the general cheerfulness 
and content which prevailed, for Satur- 
day night was drank in defiance of the 

A small bag of oatmeal was found one 
morning, which some of the young Scotch 
midshipmen considered as their ozm^ and 
sat down, with great glee And smiling 
countenances, round a washhand basin* full 
of burgooj made from it ; but they reckoned 
too securely on the antipathies of their 
English friends, for (not thinking this, 
perhaps^ a proper time for indulging 
national prejudices) they claimed their 
share, aud managed to get through it 
without a wry face. A few weeks school- 
ing on a desert isle would be a great 
' — ^—i— —————— ———.—— -»-i I . i i 

* Not the only extraordinary mess-dish which this 
occasion had reduced some to. 


blessing to many thousands who are capri- 
ciously unhappy in the midst of superfluity, 
and wretched only because they have never 
known distress. 

The guards at the posts, covering the 
boats, were generally under charge, alter- 
nately, of Lieut. Hay, Messrs. Casey, John- 
ston, Sykes, Abbot, Brownrigg, and Hope. 
The garrison duty a* night, was conducted, 
in turns, by the surgeon, chaplain, Messrs, 
Eden, Raper, Mostyn, Stopford, and Gore; 
thus making it light, and enabling them to 
keep their eyes open, and walk vigilantly 
round to observe that all the sentries were 
on the alert, and called out every quartet of 
an hour. The younger midshipmen, Messrs. 
Maxwell, Martin, Hathorn, Gordon, and 
Browne, being perched, in rotation, on the 
look-out rock during the day, to watch the 
motions of the pirates, and give notice of 
any ship or vessel Athich might appear in 
the offing- 

As there is no evil from which some good 
may not be derived, so the younger officers 
had, on the present occasion, an opportunity 
of marking the resources which spring from 


self-possession and cool exertion, even un- 
der the most appalling diflSculties; and 
thereby of imbibing a character of promp- 
titude, with a contempt of helpless indeci- 
sion — a failing of all others, in cases of 
danger or emergency, not only the most 
injurious to private fame, but to the public 

It is somewhat remarkable, that, during 
our stay here of nineteen days, exposed 
alternately to heavy rain, and the fierce 
heat of a vertical sun, none were taken sick, 
and those who landed so (some very ill) all 
recovered, except. a marine, who was in the 
last stage of a liver complaint, contracted 
whilst in China, as one of the guard to the 
Embassador*. Another man, who was a 
foreigner, and a very troublesome charac- 
ter, thought proper to leave his companions 
on the third day after landing, saying, he 
considered himself free from our service 
after the ship was wrecked. He may have 

* The only complaint made by this poor fellow, 
(Denyer) in his enfeebled state, was his inability to tvitn 
out with his comrades and face the Malays. 


been bitten by a serpent in the woods, and 
died there, or have fallen into the hands of 
the savages ; but he was never afterwards 
heard of. 

We marked with oil and blacking, in large 
characters, on the rocks, the date of our 
departure, to be a guide to any that might 
come there in quest of us, and in the after- 
noon of the 7th, we bid adieu to Pulo Leat, 
where it is not wonderful that, in our situ- 
ation, we should have suffered some hardship 
and privation ; but it is remarkable, indeed, 
that, surrounded by so many dangers, the 
occurrence of any one of which would have 
proved fatal, that we should have escaped 
the whole. We had, for example, great 
reason to be thankful that the ship did not 
fall from the rocks on which she first struck 
into deeper water, for then all must have 
perished ; — that no accident happened to 
the boats which conveyed the embassy to 
Batavia ; for, in that case, we should never 
have been heard of; — that we found fresh wa- 
ter;— that no mutiny or division took place 
among ourselves ;— that we had been able 
and willing to stand our ground against the 



pirates ; — and that the Ternate had suc- 
ceeded in anchoring in sight of the island ; 
which she was only enabled to do by a for- 
tuitous slant of wind for an hour or two. 
Had we been unfortunate in any one of 
these circumstances, few would have re- 
mained to tell our tale. 

It is a tribute due to Captain Maxwell 
to state (and it is a tribute which all most 
cheerfully pay,) that, by his judicious ar- 
rangements, we were preserved from all 
the horrors of anarchy and confusion. His 
measures inspired confidence and hope; 
whilst his personal example, in the hour of 
danger, gave courage and animation to all 
around him. 

We arrived atBatavia on the 9th of March, 
and, from the Ternate being so small, a num- 
ber of our party crossed in the boats, which 
kept company with the ship. On the 10th 
we landed, and were most hospitably 
received by Lord Amherst, who converted 
his table into a general mess for the officers, 
as well as the embassy. Comfortable 
quarters were also provided for the men ^^ 

' '■ . '■ ■■■■■ I ili,,i.». y.^ 

* The hospitable houses of Messrs. Milne uud Terre- 


who, in a day or two, landed,, and marched 
through Batavia to Weltevreden, with the 
flag which had been saved. They were 
met at Ryswick by his lordship, who kindly 
accompanied them up to his own house, 
from whence, after receiving some refresh- 
ment, they proceeded to their barrack. At 
Weltevreden, also, the officers met with a 
small, but choice, band of their country- 
men, whose society will not be easily forgot- 
ten, or ever remembered without pleasure. 
A short journal of Lieutenant Cooke 
describes the passage of Lord Amherst and 
the embassy across the Javanese sea, in the 
boats. — " At seven in the evening of Wed- 
nesday, the 19th of February, all ar- 
rangements having been speedily made, 
*' the barge and cutter weighed, and pulled 
" out to seaward, there being a heavy swell 
" across the reef; soon after made sail, ^nd 
" sounded in nineteen fathoms ; — kept more 


neau afforded lodging to the officers during their stay ; 
and much kind attention was experienced from Captains 
Forbes> Dalgairns, Hanson, and.M'Mahon ; on the staff 
of Sir William Keir. 

T 2 



to the southward, having got into mid- 
channel; — at nine at night. Entrance 
Point, in the island of Banca, bore west, 
three or four miles, 

« Thursday, the 20th,— At day-light, the 
cutter in company ; moderate breezes at 
W. N. W., and fair, with a smooth sea ; 
high land of Banca bearing north; — 
having been much crowded in the night, 
some shifted into the other boat, in order 
to equalize the numbers. At seven, 
served out, for the first time, some pro- 
visions : a> small portion of fresh meat 
and biscuit, with a gill of water and half 
a gill of rum, to each person. At ten a 
heavy squall occurred, attended by rain, 
which enabled us, by spreading cloths, 
and wringing them, to catch a bucket of 
rain-water, aflfording, to each person, 
about half a pint Light airs, and calm : 
occasionally found it necessary to pull 
eight oars, aijd, by the assistance of the 
marines, we had two reliefs. Spelled the 
oars every two hours. Served out pro- 
visions and grog in the usual small pro- 
portions. Lowered the sails, the wind 



being adverse, afterwards becoming 
calm, and at other times light breezes 
from the south-west; each person had 
" about half a pint of beer. Lightning 
" from west to south-west, — water very 
" smooth, — midnight, light airs. 

" Friday, the 21st. — Moderate breezes 
'* from the westward, which soon became 
" squally, and more to the southward, 
f * occasioning a heavy swell of the sea. At 
^* seven o'clock served out the remains of 
*' the fresh meat, and the usual gill of 
" water, and half a gill of rum. Examined 
" stock after breakfast, and found remain- 
ing six gallons of water; spruce beer, 
eight gallons ; rum, four gallons and a 
" half; beer, four gallons ; wine, nineteen 
" bottles; five ditto of additional water, 
*' one ham, one tongue, and thirty pounds 
" of bread. Served out, at twelve o'clock, 
some spruce to all hands. ' In the after- 
noon served grog in the usual quantity. 
" Continued rowing all night, and gave 
'* some spruce beer to the rowers, who 
** began to be much fatigued. Wind va- 
" riable from west to south-west. 





Saturday the 22d.— Continued pulling 
" all this morning, the breeze being very 
'' light; mustered provisions, and found 
** them much reduced. At seven o'clock 
" issued grog and a little bread to each, 
reserving a ham, the only meat now 
remaining, until dinner time. All the 
gentlemen who could pull relifeved the 
" rowers. About one o'clock a favourable 
" breeze sprung up at N. W, ; made all 
" sail, and at half-past three o'clock saw 
" Carawang Point in Java, distant about 
*^ nine or ten miles. At six o'clock the 
" land-breeze coming off obliged the 
" boats to anchor. Served out part of the 
" ham, and a little biscuit and grog, as 
" usual. At seven the wind moderated a 
^ little, and an attempt was made to row 
" in; but, the people being nearly ex- 
hausted, anchored again at nine o'clock; . 
the cutter, having no grapnel, made fast 
" to the barge. The night was fine, but a 
heavy swell occasioned the boat to roll 

Sunday morning the 23d, the people 
** having had some repose, and a little 





^' refreshment served out to them, weighed 
" the grapnel, and pulled towards Batavia. 
" Between the two points of land here, we 
" accidentally fell in, although at a con- 
" siderable distance from the shore, with 
" a stream of fresh water running into the 
" sea, which put all in high spirits*. To 
" prevent any ill consequences, a little 
rum was put into the bucket, and every 
man drank about a pint. A favourable 
breeze also sprung up, and at half past 
ten o'clock we went alongside the ship 
Princess Charlotte, in the roads, where 
" we were very kindly received, our stock 
'^ of provisions for forty-seven being a.t this 
time four or five pounds of bread, and 
(previous to falling in with the stream 
of fresh water in the sea), one gallon of 
" water, one gallon of rum, and five bottles 

" of wine, with some Madeira in ia jar/' 

«^™««^»i«»«^«^««»«»i— — — ^— ^— ■«— 1— «^"— ^^i-^"^"— ""^^■""■"^""^"^•""~""~^^~"""^^^^^"""— ■"■—■^—i^ 

* One of the men, washing his face over the side of 
the boat, was observed to commence eagerly lapping the 
water with his hand ; and, on Mr. Hoppner ordering hii|i 
to desist, saying, he would kill himself^ thp poor fellow 
roared out, " It is fresh !" In a moment, every head was 
over the gunwale, employed in the same manner, until it 


was proposed to improve it by making weak grog of it. 



During the whole of this voyage the 
strictest equality was observed in the dis- 
tribution of provisions ; and if any distinc- 
tion was made it was in favour of the row- 
ers ; those gentlemen who were unable to 
pull themselves taking rather a smaller 
proportion than those who laboured. 

The circumstance of the stream of fresh 
water, which seemed so providentially to 
extend into the sea, and afforded so much 
relief, is found to exist in many parts of 
the world, and has been lately turned to 
account by our Toulon fleet, which was 
enabled to water at the mouth of the 
Rhone, in the face of the enemy, almost 
without losing sight of the port it was 
blockading. This is to us an advantage of 
no small importance. 

Off the Mississippi, ships can water even 
out of sight of land ; and the same is stated 
to be the case with the Oronoco, in South 
America. The like occurrence will most 
probably be found in all narrow-mouthed 
rivers, which burst suddenly on the sea ; 
where from the fresh being specifically- 
lighter than the salt water, it naturally 



floats on the surface of the heavier body, 
and remains unmixed as long as the cur- 
rent retains its force. This is obviously 
not to be expected, however, neither is it 
found to exist in those parts of the world, 
where there is an ebb and flow of tide in 
the rivers to any considerable degree, and 
is therefore observed exclusively within the 
tropics and in mediterranean seas. 

The chief discomfort of the boat-voyage 
proceeded from being so crowded, and 
being obliged to sit so long in a particular 
posture, and the great distress arising from 
thirst. It was very difficult indeed to 
prevent the people from^ drinking salt 
water. One man became delirious, and it 
was attributed to this cause. But the de- 
lirium arose more probably from the ex- 
treme irritation occasioned by thirst and 
exposure to the strong heat of the sun ; 
for salt ;svater, although an article of Ma- 
teria Medica in very extensive use, has 
never been known to take the direction of 
the head. 

About the 21st March the ship Princess 
Charlotte, Captain M'Kean, whichhad sailed 



for the purpose of relieving us, in company 
with the Ternate, returned to Batavia, 
having on board Messrs, Mayne, Blair, and 
Marrige. After beating against wind and 
current, from the 24th February to the l6th 
March, without being able to fetch farther 
than the south-east end of Banca, the cur- 
rent constantly sweeping them to leeward 
the moment they opened the straits, Mr. 
Mayne, finding nothing was to be done in 
the ship, resolved to shove off in the barge, 
accompanied by the above gentlemen, and 
Mr. Thompson, the supercargo, with two 
casks of water and one of beef for us, in the 
event of our being still on the island. They 
tugged at the oars until the next day, when 
arriving in sight of the place we had occu- 
pied, they found a large flotilla of the pi- 
rates at anchor there, three of whom imme- 
diately gave chase to our boat. There was 
no time to be lost ; the barge made sail ; 
but, in addition to their sails, the Malays 
pulled furiously, and were gaining fast. 
The beef and water were now thrown over- 
board, to lighten the barge ; and, knowing 
whom they had to deal with, and that they 


had no mercy to expect, they prepared, 
being tolerably armed, to sell themselves 
as dearly as possible. Fortunately at this 
moment a strong squall occurred, which 
compelled the Malays to lower their sails ; 
whilst the barge, carrying through all, got 
a-head and escaped, the pirates hauling 
their wind again towards the island. 

These proas were probably of the more 
distant islands, who, having only lately 
heard of the wreck, had arrived a day after 
the fair, and were hungry, and annoyed at 
finding no plunder. 

The ready acquiescence of Lord Amherst 
to proceed in the boats, appears to have 
been attended with the happiest conse- 
xjiuences ; for the indecision of a single day 
in this respect would in all probability have 
placed him in the hands of these savages, 
and thereby occasioned the most fatal 




Remarks on Java — Passage homewards — Touch 
at the Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena — 
Arrival in England. 

NOTHING could exceed the deplorable 
state of Java at the period of its conquest 
by the British forces in 1811. The natives 
had at all times been enslaved and op- 
pressed by the Dutch colonists ; and, from 
the strict blockade of our cruizers, the 
produce of the soil which they were unable 
to export, was rotting in their warehouses, 
and reducing the latter to a state of bank- 

The system of government immediately 
introduced by Lord Minto, under the able 
superintendence of Mr. (now Sir Thomas) 
Raffles, corresponding with that existing 
in British (and what is here termed Western) 
India, very much altered the state of 
affairs ; but it more especially ameliorated 
the condition of the native Javanese. It 



had been usual to compel the people to 
labour at the public works, whenever occa- 
sion required, without any, or at least for 
a very inadequate, remuneration. They 
were also obHged to deliver in a certain 
quantity of produce, often exceeding what 
they were able to afford ; whilst they were 
tyrannically restricted to the cultivation of 
those articles only which best answered the 
purposes of the Dutch monopolists. By 
the new order of things, these forced ser- 
vices were immediately abolished. The 
people were paid a reasonable price for 
their voluntary labour; and, instead of 
arbitrary and compulsory deliveries, encou- 
ragement was given to grow what were 
considered the most valuable productions 
of the island, and the Javanese were 
stimulated to exertion by having an 
interest in the fruits of their industry. 
The revenue was now raised (except in one 
or two immaterial instances, which could 
not at once be conveniently altered) by a 
moderate land-tax on the whole. The Ra- 
jahs or Regents of the different districts 
were allowed, and indeed preferred, a 



fixed salary, to abandon their claims to the 
former harsh method of raising their in- 
comes, whilst they were still intrusted, under 
proper mroeillancej with the administration 
of the laws, which were also new-modelled 
and rendered more equitable, torture being 
abolished, and the instruments burnt in 
the public square. The Chinese farmers of 
revenue, employed under the Dutch, who 
possessed peculiar ingenuity in squeezing 
the natives, were either removed, or their 
conduct narrowly inspected by the British 
residents*. In Java there is no interrup- 
tion to the course of vegetation. The spring 
is eternal ; and it is quite usual on the same 
day to see them sowing in one field, the 
second in half blossom, and reaping in the 

♦ Sir T. Raffles, in his elaborate work on Java, says, 
" that whenever the Chinese formed extensive settlements 
'' in Java, the native inhabitants had no alternative but 
'^ that of abandoning the district, or of becoming slaves 
" of the soil. Their monopolizing spirit was often 
'^ even pernicious to the produce, as may be seen at this 
** day in the immediate vicinity of Batavia, where all the 
*^ public markets are farmed by them, and the degeneracy 
" and poverty of the lower classes are proverbial." 


third. But with all these advantages of 
soil and climate the people had been driven 
to reliftquish their native villages, and even 
to destroy the trees which the cruel impo- 
licy of the whites compelled them to cul- 
tivate, equally against their interest and 
their inclination. 

In the first' settlement of colonies, it is 
notorious that enormities were committed 
by all Europeans on the aborigines of the 
country ; but without flattering our amour 
propre nationaljthis unconciliatory and over- 
bearing system seems to have been far less 
practised by us than by other nations, if 
we may judge from the comparative per- 
sonal security with which a Briton roams 
every where at large. Previous to our 
possession of Java, (when travelling became 
even more safe than in England), no 
Dutchman ever ventured to undertake a 
journey among the natives without a guard. 
The same is the case with the Portuguese 
and the original Brazilians, as well as with 
the Spaniards at Manilla, and throughout 
the whole island of Luconia. 

With the Javanese harsh and rigorous 



measures seem, and indeed have been 
clearly proved to be, as unnecessary as they 
are unjustifiable, for few people bear a 
milder, more docile, or inoffensive charac- 
ter. They are a very distinct race from 
the Malays of the coasts, not only speaking 
a different language, but are anxious not to 
be considered the same people or con- 
founded with them. Lord Minto, who was 
personally at Java at the period of its 
falling into our possession, made the fol- 
lowing observations on the existing state 
of affairs, and the alterations he judged 
necessary : — 

" Contingents of rice, and, indeed, of 
'* other productions, have been hitherto 
** required of the cultivators, by govem- 
" ment, at an arbitrary rate ; this also, is 
" a vicious system, to be abandoned as 
" soon as possible. The system of con- 
tingents did not arise from the mere 
solicitude for the people, but was a mea- 
" sure alone of finance and control, to 
" enable government to derive a revenue 
^ from a high price imposed on the con- 
" sumer, and to keep the whole body of 


the people dependent on its pleasure 
for subsistence. I recommend a radical 
reform in this branch to the serious and 
early attention of government The 
principle of encouraging industry in the 
cultivation and improvement of lands, 
by creating an interest in the effort and 
fruits of that industry, can be expected 
in Java only by a fundamental change 
of the whole system of landed property 
and tenure. A wide field, but a some- 
what distant one, is open to this great 
and interesting improvement; the dis- 
cussion of the subject, however, must 
necessarily be delayed till the investiga- 
tion it requires is more complete, I 
shall transmit such thoughts as I have 
entertained, and such hopes as I have 
indulged, in this grand object of ame- 
lioration ; but I. am to request the aid of 
all the information, and all the lights, 
tJhat this island can afford. On this 
branch, nothing must be done that is 
not mature, because the change is too 
extensive to be suddenly or ignorantly 
attempted. But fixed and immutable 






" principles of the human character, and 
" of human association, assure me of ulti- 
mate, and, I hope, not remote, success, 
in views that are consonant with every 
" motive of action that operates on man, 
" and are justified by the practice and 
" experience of every flourishing country 
" of the world/' 

The wisdom and sound policy of these 
liberal and enlightened views have been 
fully proved by the increasing happiness 
and prosperity of the colony, from the day 
they were practically adopted, up to the 
period of the transfer of the island ; and 
that the same system should be continued 
under the restored government appears to 
be the decided opinion of the wisest and 
most clear-sighted of the Dutch colonists ; 
as well for its obvious justice and humanity, 
as from a conviction of its superior efficacy 
in every other respect. 

At the same time measures were taken to 
abolish slavery, for the continuance of 
which, in Java, there appeared not even 
the plea of expediency. The farther impor- 
tation of slaves was forbidden, (for they were 


generally brought, for obvious reasons, 
from the neighbouring islands), and regu- 
lations were formed for the protection and 
better treatment of those actually existing. 
They were not allowed, for instance, to be 
sold or transferred from one master to 
another, but with their own approbation; 
they were permitt^^d the right of acqtiirihg 
property either by their own industry, or 
from the gifts of others, independently of 
the control of their masters, which they 
might appropriate, if they thought propefr, 
after a certain term, to the purchase of 
their freedom, at a reasonable valuation, 
subject to the approval of a magistrate. 
An annual registry of each slare was also 
required, and a tax laid upon that registry, 
the proceeds of which were applied to. 
charitable purposes ; and, in any ini^tanc^ 
whei*e this formality was omitted, the slave 
was declared free. 

Although the present religion of the 
Javanese is that of Mahomet, (with a mix- 
ture of Paganism), yet the numerous relics 
of Hinduism, in high preservation through- 
out the iildnd, evidently shew that the 

u 2 



latter was the original mode of worship. 
Indeed, in Balli, one of the neighbouring 
islands, they perform the Hindu rites at 
this day. 

Batavia is considered, and with much 
reason, to be one of the most unhealthy 
spots in the world. But this character is 
applicable only to the town itself; which, 
agreeably to Dutch usage, wherever they 
could find one, is built in a swamp. The 
effect of this, within seven degrees of the 
equator is precisely what might be ex- 
pected ; but at Ryswick and Weltevreden, 
where the ground rises, certainly, not above 
a dozen or fifteen feet, situated within 
three miles of the town, health is retainedj 
at least as perfectly as in any other part of 
India. It has been even said that a bat- 
talion of a/ regiment quartered there has re- 
turned a smaller sick report than the other, 
stationed in some part of England. No^Eu- 
ropean, who can possibly avoid it, ever sleeps 
in the city ; but, after transacting his business, , 
removes to the neighbourhood. Amoi4g; 
seamen and soldiers, a night or two spent in 
Batavia is deemed mortal ; but the in- 


creased fatality among this class of the com- 
munity proceeds evidently from their never 
sleeping there but for the express purpose of 
getting drunk ; and, when immersion in pu- 
trid and mairsh effluvia, in so hot a climate, 
is applied to a body rendered highly sus- 
ceptible of their impression from previous 
ebriety, it is not to- be wondered that a 
fever of the worst class should be the con- 
sequence. They are also not so likely, 
in these cases, to receive that prompt as- 
sistance which alone can save them ; for, 
conscious of having been irregular in their 
conduct, they are ashamed and unwilling 
to make application until it is often too 
late ; and the loss of a single day Avill, in 
severer cases, be attended, in all probability, 
with the most dangerous consequences *. ^ 

* Captain Charles Ross, of the Pique, in the West 
Indies, among other judicious regulations of that ex- 
cellent officer, (whose orders were neither multiplied nor 
confused, and, for that reason, more likely to be rational,) 
always considered a man found drunk to be an object 
for the surgeon's immediate care, in the first instance ; 
and it is astonishing the good effect this had, not only in 
preventing drunkenness, but in obviating ils effects. 



The insalubrity of Batavia is attributed, 
but with little appearance of justice, to the 
numerous canals which interseqt the town ; 
for they rather seem to do good, by acting 
as drains, in a marshy soil ; and, if they 
are the receptacles of filth and carcasses, 
(which appeared not to be the case,) it is 
the fault of the police, and not of the canals. 
Rice-fields, creating an artificial swamp, in 
addition to the natural moisture of the 
ground, are an evident cause of mischief, 
and certainly ought not to be permitted 
to exist in the immediate vicinity of a po- 
pulous city ; as they cannot be at all ne- 
cessary in a country, two-thirds of which 
is uncultivated. 

The climate of Java may be varied at 
* pleasure, from the suffocating heat of Ban- 
tam, or Batavia, to the cool, and even 
keen air of the mountains, where fires and 
blankets are necessary ; which, to invali4s 
requiring an immediate change of tem- 
perature, is an advantage of the highest 

It is observable that all colonies are very 
defective in seminaries of education;— a 



defect, more especially in those that are 
extensive and populous, for which there 
can be no good excuse, and is attended 
with much inconvenience ; for either the 
youth of both sexes receive no education 
at all, or must be sent home, at a great 
expense, for that purpose. This would 
appear to be much the case at Batavia, for 
the young men required to fill situations 
of responsibility must be supplied by fresh 
importations; and the ladies, surrounded 
by a crowd of flattering slave-girls, gene- 
rally creoHze * the whole day in a delectable 
state of apathy, without any sort of occu- 
pation ; at sun-*set, perhaps, taking a short 
airing in the environs. The elder dames 
inveterately adhere to the kuhaya (a loose 
sort of gown, or wrapper, sometimes richly 
embroidered ) ; but the EngUsh and French 
modes are universal among the rking ge- 
neration. They form a curious contrast 

H 1 ' J 1. ....■■ I ■ . ■ II . ■- 

^ CreoIiziDg is an e9sy an(l elegant mode of lQU|igii\g 
in a warm climate ; so call^4^ t>ecause piuch in fashiqn 
among the ladies of the West Indies : that is, reclining 
back in one arm-chair, with their feet upon another, and 
scHnetimes upon the table. 





on public occasions, for, although sump- 
tuary laws exist, which prevent ladies from 
wearing jewels beyond a certain amount, 
and appearing abroad attended by servants 
exceeding the number allowed for the par- 
ticular rank of their husbands or fathers, 
yet all classes, male and female, seem 
privileged to undress themselves as they 

One evening, on our passage outwards, at 
a grand ball given at the Harmonic by the 
British army officers, on the anniversary 
of the battle of Waterloo, an old Dutch 
gentleman, in a full dress suit of black, 
highly trimmed, and in the cut of the last 
century, was seen strutting about the room 
with a white night-cap on his head. Indeed, 
at dinner, in the best companies, they do 
not hesitate to wear their liats, if there is 
the least motion in the air, for they dread 
nothing so much as sitting in a current. 

The villas of the councillors of the Indies 
are distinguished by having black instead 
of white statues in their fronts, and about 
their gardens. They are, generally, heavy- 
looking houses, situated €>n the Jacatra 


and Ryswick roads, but have an air of 

The restored Dutch government professes 
to act upon the principles which have been 
found successful during our possession; but 
a circumstance which occurred a short time 
before our arrival here evinced strong 
symptoms of a recurrence to the system of 
terror, A body of the natives, about five 
hundred in number, having had some 
dispute with the local authorities near Indra 
Mayo, whilst making representation about 
some hardship (which they had been lately 
freely in the habit of doing, whenever they 
considered themselves in any way aggrieved), 
were seized, and confined in a house, which, 
like the black hole at Calcutta, being too 
small for the prisoners, they, in desperation, 
attempted to break through the roof ; when 
a body of military having by this time been 
collected, they were fired upon, the greater 
part killed, and the remainder, in some 
way or other, destroyed. It is somewhat 
remarkable that the Dutch, who are, at 
home, a very unassuming, plain, and mo- 
ral sort of people, should have displayed, 


on so many occasions, a ferocious and 
blood-thirsty disposition in their colonies *. 
Marshal Daendels, it i$ confessed, made 
many judicious avFangements by the vigour 
of his measures, had he only been a little 
more scrupulous as to the mode of obtain- 
ing bis purposes; but, to use his own 
expression, he " found it necessary to put 
" himself above the usual formalities, and 
" to disregard every law but that which 
" enjoined the preservation of the colony 
" intrusted to his management/' 

On one occasion, he is said to have 
requested the magistrates to demolish their 
grand churqh in Batavia» which was not 
only in the way of some favourite scheme 
he had in view, but its cupola was the only 
land-mark for entering the bay, and, as 
such, greatly assisted the enemy^s cruizers. 
The burgomasters ventured to oppose this 
project. In a very short time the church 
was found to be on fire ; and the building 
being thereby in a great degree consumed 

* The Dutch will hav? considerable difficulty ia re- 
tainiug their possessions in this quarter. 


and damaged, the remainder was soon 
razed to the ground. The incendiaries 
were never found out. His great military 
road, carried some hundred miles across 
the island, cost the lives of thousands of 
the Javanese, who were sacrificed to the 
system of forced services. He ^.ppears to 
have been Uttle less despotic with the 
whiter; and many stories are told about 
him, that he could even make hens lay 
eggs when he thought proper. On one 
occasion, he forced a Dutch gentleman, 
who had omitted to salute him in passing, 
to walk before his door, with his hat in his 
hand, at a certain hour every morning 
until further orders. But, although all 
seem to agree that he carried a high and 
imperious hand, yet none dare even now, 
speak ill of him, for fear he may return. 

In equipping a considerable army, 
DEierely from the resources of the country, 
when entirely cut off from any eommuni-» 
cation with Europe, supplying them with 
a cloth adapted to the climate, and fur-^ 
nishing them with most of the other 
accoutrements, he put the manufacturing 



talents of the natives to the test, and he 

Sir William Keir, Mr. Fendal, and 
Mr. Cranssen, were still at Batavia, for 
the purpose of finally adjusting the trans- 
fer of the colonies, with the commissioners 
of his majesty the king of the Nether- 
lands. The Dutch squadron was absent 
at the different islands, resuming possession 
of them. They had, as well as the land- 
Torces, suffered a very heavy loss from 
deaths ; and the Baron de Capellan, who 
is individually a man of humanity, and 
was extremely solicitous about their pre- 
servation, was stated to have personally 
interfered with the medical staff, who 
appear to have been much wedded to the 
old-fashioned practice, and to have given 
positive orders that the mode of managing 
the sick, which had proved successful with 
our troops on the very same ground, should 
be adhered to. 

The ship Caesar, Captain Taylor, which 
had been engaged to carry to England the 
embassy, with the officers and crew; of the 
Alceste, being now ready for sea, her 


equipment having been expedited by the 
assistance of our artificers, Lord Amherst 
embarked on the 12th of April, attended 
by Sir Wilham Keir, and all his staff, and 
received also frpm the Dutch authorities 
every mark of respect due to his rank. 
We sailed on the same morning, and soon 
clearing the Straits of Sunda, proceeded 
with a fair wind across the Indian Ocean* 

The gay scenes we had experienced for 
the last few weeks among our friends at 
Weltevreden and Batavia, which we had 
enjoyed with the greater spirit from our 
previous adventures, made us now more 
susceptible of the dull sameness attending 
our present sky-and-water view. But a 
circumstance occurred, of all others, pro- 
ducing the most instantaneous and effectual 
relief from this feeling of tedimn vitce^ or 
e7inuL The ship, one morning, was de- 
clared to be on fire in the after store-room, 
and (to render the intelligence still more 
agreeable and interesting) close to the 
magazine, whilst the flames seen in that 
direction, and volumes of smoke now 
bursting forth, left no doubt of the fact. 


In a moment, the liveliest bustle took place 
of listless yawning, and every mind was 
roused into a state of the highest activity. 
To be in a ship on fire in the middle of 
the ocean is supposed to be the most awk- 
ward and unenviable situation in which a 
man of weak nerves can be placed. Some 
again assert that it affords, more than any 
other occasion, an opportunity for the 
display of coolness, presence of mind, and 
decision. Happily, there were not want- 
ing many possessing the latter qualities, 
who, by pushing through the smoke to the 
point of danger, and scuttling the decks 
immediately above the place, succeeded 
in extinguishing the flames in about three 
quarters of an hour, but not without con- 
siderable difficulty and damage. Very 
fortunately it was washing morning, and, 
of course, buckets, and other water uten- 
sils, were at hand. Had the accident 
taken place during the night, or had it 
been unobserved for a few minutes longer, 
and the fire had communicated to some oil 
and other combustibles near it, no human 
power could have saved us. This alarming 


occurrence, so nearly proving fatal, was 
occasioned by an idle looby, belonging to 
the Caesar, carelessly pumping off spirits 
with a naked light, in order to preserve the 
body of a vile parrot, which had died the 
night before- It had the effect, however, 
of occasioning the most rigorous precau- 
tions in future*. 

Notwithstanding the crowded state of 
the Caesar, two passengers, of rather a 
singular nature, were put on board at 
Batavia, for a passage to England: the 
one, a snake of that species called Boa 
Constrictor ; the other, an Ourang Outang. 
—The former was somewhat small of his 
kind, being only about sixteen feet long, 
and of about eighteen inches in circum- 
ference; but his stomach was rather dis- 

* Poor Mrs. Loy appeared to fall a victim to this fire. 
Being in that condition^ in which ^dden alarms have* 
often a serious effect lipon vromen, it produced consc- 
<|uences^ wbich^ added to her state of health at the time, 
proved fatal. She Was i\ke only European woman who 
had ever seen the great wall of China. During some 
trying scenes through which she had attended us, her con- 
Aiict had always beien Arm afnd cheerful. 



proportionate to his size, as will presently 
appear. He was a native of Borneo, and 
was the property of a gentleman (now in 
England), who had two of the same sort; 
but, in their passage up to Batavia, one of 
them broke loose from his confinement, 
and very soon cleared the decks, as every 
body very civilly made way for him and 
ran up the rigging, or to some other place 
of security. Not being used to a ship, 
however, or taking, perhaps, the sea for a 
green field, he sprawled overboard, and 
was drowned. He is said not to have 
sunk immediately, but to have reared his 
head several times, and with it a consider- 
able portion of his body, out of the sea. 
His companion, lately our shipmate, was 
brought safely on shore, and lodged in the 
court-yard of Mr. Davidson's house at 
Ryswicli, where he remained for some 
months, waiting for an opportunity of being 
conveyed home in some commodious ship 
sailing directly for England, in which he 
was likely to be carefully attended to. 
This opportunity offered in the Caesar, and 
he was accordingly embarked on board of 



that ship with the rest of het numerous 

During his stay at Ryswick, he is said to 
have been usually entertained with a goat 
for dinner, once in every three or four 
weeks, with occasionally a duck or a fowl, 
by way of a dessert. — He was brought on 
board shut up in a wooden crib or cage, 
the bars of which were sufficiently close to 
prevent his escape; and it had a sliding 
door, for the purpose of admitting the 
articles on which he was to subsist; the 
dimensions of the crib were about four feet 
in height, and five feet square ; a space suffi- 
ciently large to allow him to coil himself 
round with ease. The live stock for his 
use during the passage, consisting of six 
goats of the ordinary size, were sent with 
him on board, five being considered as a 
fair allowance for as many months. 

At an early period of the voyage we had 
an exhibition of his talent in the way of 
eating, which was publicly performed on 
the quarter-deck, upon which his crib 
stood. The sliding part being opened, 
one of the goats was thrust in, and the dpor 




of the cage shut. The poor goat, as if 
instantly aware of all the horrors of its 
perilous situation^ immediately began to 
utter the most piercing and distressing 
cries, butting instinctively, at the same 
time, with its head towards the serpent, in 

The snake, which at first appeared 
scarcely to notice the poor animal, soon 
began to stir a little, and, turning his head 
in the direction of the goat, he at length 
fixed a deadly and malignant eye on the 
trembling victim, whose agony and terror 
seemed to increase ; for, previous to the 
snake seizing his prey, it shook in every 
limb, but still continuing its unavailing 
show of attack, by butting at the serpent, 
which now became sufficiently animated to 
prepare for the banquet. The first opera- 
tion was that of darting out his forked 
tongue, and at the same time rearing a 
little his head ; then suddenly seizing the 
goat by the fore leg with his fangs, and 
throwing it down, it was encircled in an 
instant in his horrid folds. So quick, 
indeed, and so instantaneous was the act. 


that it was impossibfe for the eye to follow 
the rapid convolution of his elongated 
body. It was not a regular screw-Kke turn 
that was formed, but resembling^ rather a 
knot, one part of the body overlaying the 
other, as if to add weight to the muscular 
pressure, the more effectually to crush his 
object* During this time, he continued to 
grasp with his fangs, though it appeared 
an unnecessary precaution, that part of 
the animal which he had first seized. The 
poor goat, in the mean tiiiie, continued its 
feeble and half-stifled cries for some 
minutes, but they soon became more and 
more faint, and at last it expired. The 
snake, however, retained it for a consider- 
able time in his grasp, after it was appa- 
rently motionless. He then slowly and 
cautiously unfolded himself, till the goat 
fell dead from his monstrous embrace, 
when he began to prepare himself for 
swallowing it. Placing his mouth in front 
of the head of the dead animal, he com- 
menced by lubricating with his saliva that 
part of the goat ; and then taking its 
muzzle into his mouth, which had, and 

X 2 



indeed always has, the appearance of a 
raw lacerated wound, he sucked it in, as 
far as the horns would allow. These pro- 
tuberances opposed some little difficulty, 
not so much from their extent, as from 
their points ; however, they also, in a yery 
short time, disappeared ; that is to say, 
externally ; but their progress was still to 
be traced very distinctly on the outside, 
threatening every moment to protrude 
through the skin. The victim had now 
descended as far as the shoulders ; and it 
was an astonishing sight to observe the 
extraordinary action of the snake^s muscles 
when stretched to such an unnatural ex- 
tent — an exteilt which must have utterly 
destroyed all muscular power in any animal 
that was not, hke himself, endowed with 
very pecuhar faculties of expansion and 
action at the same time. When his head and 
neck had no other appearance than that of 
a serpent's skin, stuffed almost to bursting, 
still the workings of the muscles were evi- 
dent; and his power of suction, as, it is 
erroneously called, unabated ; it was, in 
fact, the effect of a contractile muscular 



power, assisted by two rows of strong 
hooked teeth. With all this he must be so 
formed as to be able to suspend, for a 
time, his respiration ; for it is impossible to 
conceive that the process of breathing 
could be carried on while the mouth and 
throat were so completely stuffed and 
expanded by the body of the goat, and the 
lungs themselves (admitting the trachea to 
be ever so hard) compressed, as they must 
have been, by its passage downwards. 

The whole operation of completely 
gorging the goat occupied about two hours 
and twenty minutes : at the end of which 
time, the tumefaction was confined to the 
middle part of the body, or stomach, the 
superior parts, which had been so much 
distended, having resumed their natural 
dimensions. He now coiled himself up 
again, and laid quietly in his usual torpid 
state for about three weeks or a month, 
when, his last meal appearing to be com- 
pletely digested and dissolved, he was 
presented with another goat, which he 
killed and devoured with equal facility. 
It would appear that ajmost all he swallows 


is converted into nutrition, for a small 
quantity of calcareous matter (and that, 
perhaps, not a tenth part of the bones of 
the animal) with occasionally some of the 
hairs, seemed to compose his general 
faeces; — and this may account for these 
animals being able to remain so long with- 
out a supply of food. He had more dif- 
ficulty in killing a fowl than a larger animal, 
the former being too small for his grasp. 
It was remarked, especially by the officers 
of the watch, who had better opportunities 
of noticing this circumstance, that the 
goats had always a great horror of the ser- 
pent, and evidently avoided that side of the 
deck on which his cage stood. 

Few of those who had witnessed his first 
exhibition were desirous of being present 
at the second. A man may be impelled 
by curiosity, and a wish to ascertain the 
truth of a fact frequently stated, but which 
seems almost incredible, to satisfy his own 
mind by ocular proof; btit he will leave 
the scene with those feelings of horror and 
disgust, which such a sight is well calcu- 
lated to create- It is difficult to behold, 



without the most painful sensation^ the 
anxiety and trepidation of the harmless 
victim, or to lObserve the hideous writhing 
^ of the serpent around his preyj ftiid not to 
imagine what our own case would be in the 
same helpless and dreadful situation. 

A-Jion, a tiger, and other beasts of pney^ 
are sufficiently terrible ; but tfiey seldom^ 
unless strongly urged by hunger, attack 
human beings, and generally give some 
sort of warning ; but, against the silent, sly, 
and insidious approach of a SQake, ther^ is 
no guarding, nor any escape wlien once 
entwined within his folds. 

As we approached the Cape vpf Good 
Hope, this animal began to droop, as was 
then supposed, froni the increasing cold- 
ness of the weather, (which may probably 
have had its influence,) and he refused to 
kill some fowls which wereoflfered to luitn. 
Between the Cape and St. Helena he wa« 
found dead in his cage ; and, on dissection, 
the coats of the stomach were discovered 
to be excoriated and perforated by worms. 
Nothing remained of the goat except one 



of the horns, every other part being dis- 

It may here be mentioned, that, during 
a captivity of some months at Whidah, in 
the kingdom of Dahomey, on the coast 
of Africa, the author of this narrative had 
opportunities of observing snakes more 
than double the size of this one just de- 
scribed; but he cannot venture to say 
whether or not they were of the same 
species, though he has no 'doubt of their 
being of the genus Boa, They killed their 
prey, however, precisely in a similar 
manner; and, from their superior bulk, 
were capable of swallowing animals much 
larger than goats or sheep. Governor Ab- 
son, who had for thirty-seven years resided 
at Fort William (one of the African Com- 
pany's settlements there,) described some 
desperate struggles which he had either 
seen, or had come to his knowledge, between 
the snakes and wild beasts, as well as 
the smaller cattle, in which the former 
were always victorious. A negro herds- 
man belonging to Mr. Absorv (who after- 


wards limped for many years about the 
fort) had been seized by one of these 
monsters by the thigh; but from his situa- 
tion in a wood, the serpent, in attempting 
to throw himself around him, got entangled 
with a tree ; and the man, being thus pre- 
served from a state of compression which 
would have instantly rendered him quite, 
powerless, had presence of mind enough 
to cut with a large knife, which he carried 
about with him, deep gashes in the neck 
and throat of his antagonist, thereby killing 
him, and disengaging himself from his 
frightful situation. He never afterwards, 
however, recovered the use of that limb, 
which had sustained considerable injury 
from his fangs, and the mere force of his 

These larger serpents are seldom ob- 
served to be venomous, the smaller tribe 
being, in this respect, much more dan- 

In this country of Dahomey, they had 
a smaller species of snake, called Dabqa^ 
which is the object of their worship and 
adoration. It is perfectly harmless, (to 




larger creatures,) and is tameable. Great 
attention is paid to any- that are found, 
being lodged in their temples, and fed by 
the priestesses with rats, mice, and smaller 
animals. People who are sick apply to 
them for relief; and should one of them 
happen to entwine itself around a preg- 
nant woman, it is considered the happiest 
possible omen for herself and child. In this 
state, followed by crowds, she proudly 
marches through the town, sanctified, as it 
were, by the attachment of the snake, which 
encircles her naked frame. Those who meet 
her fall on their knees, and snap their 
fingers (their usual salutation) as she passes. 
The Ourang-Outang, also a native of 
Borneo, is an animal remarkable not only 
from being extremely rare, but as possess- 
ing, in many respects, a strong resemblance 
to man. What is technically denominated 
the cranium, is perfectly human in its ap- 
pearance ; the shape of the upper part of 
the head, the forehead, the eyes, (which 
are dark and full,) the eye-lashes, and, 
indeed, every thing relating to the eyes 
and ears, differing in no respect from man. 


The hair of his head, however, is merely 
the same wliich covers his body generally. 
The nose is very flat,— the distance between 
it and the mouth considerable ; the chin, 
and, in fact, the whole of the lower jaw, is 
very large, and his teeth, twenty-four in 
number, are strong*. The lower part of 
his face is what may be termed an ugly, 
or caricature, likeness of the human coun- 
tenance. The position of the scapulae, or. 
shoulder-blades, the general form of the 
shoulders and breasts, as well as the figure 
of the arms, the elbow-joint especially, and 
the hands, strongly continue the resem- 
blance. The metacarpal, or that part of 
the hand immediately above the fingers, is 
somewhat elongated ; and, by the thumb 
being thrown a little higher up, nature 
seems to have adapted the hand to his 

* It was stated by mistake, in a former edition, that 
he had twenty-six teeth. On his first arrival in England, 
he had only twenty; but since that period, be has ao- 
Squired four more, or his denies $apienti€b. He ha^^ 
likewise, grown three inches and a half in height, wliich 
proves him to be a young animal. He is the second of 
his kind ever seen in England^ 



mode of life, and given him the power of 
grasping more effectually the branches of 

He is corpulent about the abdomen, or, 
in common phrase, rather pot-bellied^ look- 
ing hke one of those figures of Bacchus 
often seen riding on casks ; but whether 
this is his natural appearance when wild, or 
acquired since his introduction into genteel 
society, and by indulging in a high style of 
living, it is difficult to determine. 

His thighs and legs are short and bandj^ 
the ankle and heel hke the human; but 
the fore part of the foot is composed of 
toes, as long and as pliable as his fingers, 
with a thumb, situated a little before the 
inner ankle; this conformation enabling 
him to hold equally fast with his feet as 
with his hands. When he stands erect, 
he is about three feet three and a half 
inches in height, and he can walk, when 
led, like a child ; but his natural loco- 
motion, when on a plane surface, is sup- 
porting himself along, at every step, by* 
placing the knuckles of his hands upon 
the ground. All the fingers, both of the 


hands and feet, have nails exactly hke the 
human race, except the thumb of the foot 
which is without any. 

His natural food would appear to be all 
kinds, of fruit and nuts ; but he eats biscuit, 
or any other sort of bread, and sometimes 
animal food. He will drink grog, or even 
spirits, if given to him; has been even 
known repeatedly to help himself in this 
way (and was actually turned out of the 
boatswain's mess, for taking more than 
his allowance). He was also taught to 
sip his tea or coffee, and, since his arrival 
in England, has discovered a taste for a 
pot of porter. His usual conduct is not 
mischievous and chattering, like that of 
monkeys in general ; but he has rather a 
grave and sedate character, and is much 
inclined to be social, and on good terms, 
with every body. He made no diflSculty, 
however, when cold, or inclined to sleep, 
in supplying himself with any jacket he 
found hanging about, or in stealing a pil- 
low from a hammock, in order to lie more 
soft and comfortably. 

Sometimes, when teased by shewing 


him something to eat> be would display 
in a very strong manner the human pas- 
sions, following the person whining and 
crying, throwing himself on his back, 
and rolling about apparently in a great 
rage, attempting to bite those near him, 
and frequently lowering himself by a 
rope over the ship's side, as if pretending 
to drown himself; but, when he came near 
the water's edge, he always re-considered 
the matter, and came on board again. He 
would often rifle and examine the pockets 
of his friends in quest of nuts and biscuits, 
which they sometimes carried for him. He 
had a great antipathy to the smaller tribe of 
monkeys, and would throw them overboard 
if he could ; but in his general habits and 
disposition there is much docility and good 
nature, and, when not annoyed, he is ex- 
tremely inoffensive. . He approaches, upon 
the whole, nearer to the human kyid than 
any other animal. 

On the 27th May we anchored in Simon's^ 
Bay, at the Cape of Good Hope, from 
which we sailed again on the 11th of June, 
steering for St. Helena, where we arrived 


on the 27th. The exterior of this island 
has much of that appearance which induced 
Madan)e Bertrand to temi it the birth- 
place of the demon of Ennui ; but the in- 
terior is not destitute of beauties, for there 
are many very pleasing spots situated in its 
different valleys. 

One cannot help, in contemplating the 
calm tranquillity which reigns about Long- 
wood (now the peaceful habitation of the 
once mighty agitator of the world), being 
forcibly struck by the great mutability of 
human affairs. 

Buonaparte had for a considerable time 
past been very retired and difficult of 
access, but he was perfectly disposed to 
see Lord Amherst ; and on the day pre- 
vious to our departure, his lordship rode 
out there, accompanied by the gentlemen 
of his suite. He was introduced by Ber- 
trand with not a little form, and had, as well 
as Mr. Ellis, a very long private conver- 
sation previous to the introduction of the 
other gentlemen, who in the xsiean time 
were attended by Generals Bertrand, Mon- 
tholon, and Gourgaud, in the next room. 



At last they also were ushered in ; and a 
ring having been formed by the grand 
Marshal round the principal personage of 
the group, Lord Amherst presented to him 
first Captain Maxwell, to whom he bowed 
very civilly, and said his name was not un- 
known to him ; observing, that he had com- 
manded on an occasion where one of his 
frigates. La Pomone, was taken in the 
Mediterranean. " Vous Stiez trds mSchant — 
Eh hien ! your government must not blame 
you for the loss of the Alceste, for you 
have taken one of my frigates/' He said 
he was very happy to see young JefFery 
Amherst, and good-humouredly asked him 
what presents he had brought with him 
from China, and so forth. 

The author of this narrative he interro- 
gated about the length of time he had 
served, and whether he had been wounded ; 
repeating the last question in English, with 
an air of triumph at the proficiency he had 
made in that language* 

Proceeding next to Mr. Abel, (who, al- 
though the chief medical attendant of the 
embassy, was introduced as naturalist), he 


inquired if he belonged to the Royal Society, 
or any of the public institutions, oi* was a 
candidate for that honour; ajsking if he had 
beeu happy, in this voyage, in making any 
discoveries in natural history^ which could 
add ta our stock of knowledge on that nnh* 
jecL He inquired also whether he knew 
Sir Joseph Bauks, whose name, he said:^ 
had beeB a paissport in France, and his 
wishes always attieoyded to, even during war. 
Mn. Cooke's ntame induced him to a^ 
he was a desceudant of the celebnited 
navigator ; obswsfving^ ** You had a Cookv 
who was, indfeedi, a. ^eal man/^ He re- 
questedi to know, oft Dfc. Lynn being pre- 
sented, at what umiversitty he had studied. — 
" At Edinfeurgb"' was the reply. — " Edin- 
boocg r he; repeated: ; and went, on to inter- 
rogate him whetiber he was a Brunonaan in 
pcactke ; or if he bled and gave as mucb 
mercury as^ our St. Helena: doctors. 

Mr. Gnffith, the chaplain, was next in- 
troduced, whom Buonaparte termed VAur 
mcmerj and pronouncing, also^ in Enghsh, 
clair-gee-man. *^ Well, sir,'' he continued, 




" have you found out what religion the 
Chinese profess V Mr. Griffith replied it 
was somewhat difficult to say ; but it seem- 
ed a polytheism. Not appearing to under- 
stand the meaning of this word, spoken in 
English, Bertrand remarked, " PluralitS 
de Dieux" — " Ah ! pluralitS de Dieux/' said 
he ; " do they believe in the immortality of 
the soul V^ " I think they have some idea 
of a future state'' .was the reply. " Well,'* 
said Buonaparte, " when you go home 
you must get a good living ; I wish you 
may be made a prebendary, sir.'' Pro- 
ceeding to Mr. Hayne, he also questioned 
him in some general way ; and having now 
completed the circle, and said something 
to evefy body, he very courteously bowed 
to each of the party as they retired, who all 
felt much gratified at the opportunity of the 
interview. Although there was nothing de- 
scending in his manner, yet it was affable 
and polite ; and, whatever may be his ge- 
neral habit, he can behave himself very 
prettily if he pleases. He is by no means 
so corpulent as is usually represented, and 


his health appears to be excellent. Long- 
wood, from its situation, ought certainly 
to be highly salubrious. 

On the 2d of July we sailed from St. 
Helena, touched at the Island of Ascension 
on the 7th, and, on the 12th, crossed the 
line, and got into our own hemisphere. 
Our passage homewards was extremely fa- 
vourable, on the l6th of August making 
the EngHsh land, and the next morning 
brought us to Spithead, from whence we 
landed once more in our native isle ; — not 
merely with the common feeling of happi- 
ness which all mankind naturally enjoy on 
revisiting the land of their birth, but with 
those sensations of pride and satisfaction 
with which every Briton may look round 
him, in his own country, after having seen 
all others. 


y 2 


No. I. 

ON our arrival at Portsmouth, a Court-martial (as is 
usual in the Navy) w^s held on board the Queen Char- 
lotte, to inquire into all the circumstances attending the 
loss of the ship, and into the conduct of the officers and 
men on that occasion ; composed of Captain Sir Archibald 
Dickson, JBart. President ; Captains Alexander, Dacres, 
Meynell, and Hickey; Moses Greatham, Esq. Judge 
Advocate ; when. Captain Maxwell's interesting Nar- 
rative, detailing the facts relative thereto, having been 
read, and a number of witnesses examined on the various 
statements contained in it, the Court pronounced the fol-' 
lowing Sentence, after the usual preamble :-— 

'' Having matiu'ely and deliberately weighed and consi- 
^' dered the whole, the Court is of opinion that the loss 
'^ of His Majesty's late ship Alceste was caused by her 
*^ striking on a sunken rock, until then unknown, in the 
^* Straits of Gaspar. That Captaiu Murray Maxwell, 
^ previous to the circumstance, appeared to have con- 


'^ ducted himself in the most zealous and officer-like man- 
** ner ; and^ after the ship struck^ his coolness^ self-col. 
*^ lection, and exertions, were highly conspicuous ; and 
*' that every thing was done by him and his officers 
** within the power of man to execute, previous to the 
^^ loss of the ship, and afterwards to preserve the lives of 
^' the Right Honourable Lord Amherst, His Majesty's 
'' Embassador, and his suite, as well as those of the 
'^ ship's company, and to save her stores on that occa- 
^' sion ; and therefore adjudge the said Captain Murray 
*^ Maxwell, his officers and men, to be most fully 


The Court was extremely crowded, and there were 
present Lords Amherst and Colchester. The former, 
being examined by the Court, stated, '^ that he had se- 
^' lected Captain Maxwell, on the occasion of the em- 
'^ bassy, from motives of personal friendship, as well as 
^' from the high opinion he entertained of his professional 
'' character, which opinion had been much increased by 
" the events of this voyage." 


No. 11. 

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST of the Kings of Lewchew, 
from the End of the Twelfth Century, to the Beginning 
of the last. 

First Year oi 

_^ their reiffB. Liml Rdroed. 


A. O. Yean. Yean. 

Chun-tien 1187 72 51 

Chun- Machuny, son of Chun-den 1238 64 11 

Ypen, son of Chun-Machuny .... 1249 — — 

Yn-tsou - 1260 71 40 

Ta-tchingy son of Yn-tsou ...... 1301 — 9 

Yn-tse^ second son of Ta-tching.* 1309 — 5 

Yu-tching, fourth son of Yn-tse.. 1314 — 23 

Ly-Oucy, son of Yu-tching .... 1337 23 14 

Tsay-tou 1360 — 46 

Ou-ningy son of Tsay-tou 1 396 — — 

Tsa-chaOy son of Ou-ning 1406 — 16 

Chang-pa-tchi, son of Tse-chao .. 1424 68 18 
Chang-tchong, second son of 

Chang-pa-tchi 1440 54 — 

Chang-tse-ta, son of Chan-tchong 1445 42 5 
Chang-kin-foo^ paternal uncle of 

Chang-tse-ta 1450 52 4 

Chang-tai-kieou, brother of Chang- 

kin^oo 1454 46 7 


Pint Yetr of 

tbeirReigii. Lired. lleif(iied. 


A. D. Years. Year*. 

Chang-te, third son of ChaDg- 

ta-kieou 1461 29 9 

Chan-y-veii 1470 6a 7 

Chang-tching, son of Chang-y-veo 1477 6£ 50 
Chang-tsing, third son of Chang- 

tching 1527 59 29 

Chang-y-ven, second son of Chang- 

tsing 1556 45 17 

Chang.yongy second son of Chang- 

y-ven 1573 S5 l6 

Chang-ning, grandson of Chang- 

tsing 1588 57 32 

Chang-fong, descendant of a bro- 
ther of Chang.yong l62l 51 20 

Chang-hieu, third son of Chang-fong 1 64 1 23 7 

Chang-tche> brother of Chang-hien l648 40 21 

Chang- tching, son of Chang-hien . • 1 669 65 41 
Chang-pen, grandson of Chang- 

tching 1710 34 f 

Chang-king, son of Chang-pen •• 1713 — • — 

The above list being copied, by Pere Gaubil^ from the 
Chinese Report of Supoa-Koang, they have, in that 
translation from the original language, no doubt, acquired 
their present Chang^chong character of expression. 




No. III. 

NAMES and SITUATION of the Lewchemn Islands, 
according to the same authority. 

To the North-eastward. 






Tatao (of considerable size) 


To the South and Westward. 

Typin-chan, orMa-kou-chaD 


YIeang-pa , 





Pat-choDg-chan (Patch usan) 


Yeouni Koumi 






Jo the North and Westward* 




Lun-koan-chan (or Sulphur 

Mat-che-chan^ surrounded 

by five islets 
Another Mat-che-chan 

To the Eastward. 

The whole situate at Tarioas dis- 
tances, extending from the qifua 
island towards Japan, Corea, and 
<he island of Fonn08a« four eiily 
lying to the eastward. The Ctn- 
nese have in this instance, as in the 
list of kings, applied their ow'n 
abominable and harsh-sounding 
terms to the greater number of Ihesfr 
islands, such as Lieou Kieou, Yon- 
chang-pou, Lun Kotm-dumy an'd 
Pot'Chong-chan ; whilst all t|ie 
iiative names, as Lewchewy Era. 
&O0, Agenhuy AtihiLm^kx T^Mkc,: 
and so forth, are very soft an^. 
4>leasing to the ear. 




No. IV. 

MR. FISHER collected a few of the Lewchewan Words, 
which may tend to give some idea of the sound of their 





Boat with Sails. 

Boat rowed with Oars. 

Branches of Trees. 








Come a shore. * 


Colours (Ensign). 




















< ' t. 





























Good. . 


Grave (for dead). 


Good-by, or adieu. 















Head-pin with a star-head. 


Head-pin with a scoop-head.Usisashee. 

How do you do l 






I or lue. 


I will come again. 


I do not understand. 


I thank you. 





I will go. 

Oa Atchung 

I will sing. 

Oa Utshang. 



















Not good. 








Potatoes (sweet). 


Physician or Surgeon. Isha. 














■ Shoes. 




Sit down. 


Ship (large). 


Ship (small). 















Square used by ditto. 








Sash or Girdle, 

worn by 

the Lewchewans. 















To bring. 



Cha (Chinese). 

Temple, or house of wor<f 

ship in thq 


where the sick 


Jah Joh. 



Very good. 












You give me. 

Yare Curran. 



You are a good i 







1 Titsee. 

2 Tatsee. 

3 Metsee. 

4 Yutsee. 

5 Ititsee. 

6 Mutsee. 

7 Nanatsee. 

8 Jatsee. 

9 Cucunutsee. 

10 Too. 

11 Too-Titsec. 

12 Too-Tatsee^ and so on 

to nineteen. 

20 Nijoo. 

21 Nijoo-Titsee, S^c. 

30 Sanjoo. 

31 Sanjoo-Titsee, ^c. 

40 Siujoo. 

41 Sinjoo-Titsee, S^c. 

50 Gunjoo. 

51 Gunjoo-Titsee, S^c. 

60 Docodoo. 

61 Docodoo-Titsce, ^c. 

70 Stigoo. 

71 Stigoo-Titsee, ^c. 

80 Hacheegoo. 

81 Hacheegoo-Titsee, 6fc. 

90 Cunjoo. 

91 Cunjoo-Titsee, S^c, 
100 Hiacoo. 

The numbers^ after each ten^ were always repeated in 
a manner similar to our own arithmetic. 


No. V. 


The foUomr^ Lines, written by Mr. Gillard, on leaving ovr 
hospitable friends at Grand Lewchew, speak not only his own, 
but the general, feeling on that occasion. 

THE sails are set, — the anchor's weighM ; 
Their seaward course the ships pursue; 
And, friend! J signs at parting made, 
We bid the land a last adieu ! 

From crowded boats, that grace our wake. 
Where all appear in vestments gay. 

Their mute " Farewell" the natives take, 
Yet, lingering, seem to court our stay. 

Slowly the vessels glide along, 

While groups from every village pour, 

And rushing downward join the throng 
Assembled on the sandy shore. 



High on the arch that spans the tide, 
In faint perspective^ crowds appear ; 

While thousands line the river's side, 
And throng the boats diat hither steer. 

From neighbouring heights, with verdure crown 'd, 

The toiling hinds in wonder gaze ; 
And still-increasing groups are found 

At every spot the eye surveys. 

Yet all is as the night serene, 

And not a sound disturbs the air : 
So throng'd, and yet so still, the scene. 

It might be deem'd some spell was there :-* 

Save that, along the crowded hore, 

Are raised a thousand waving hands, , 

As, till the ships are seen no more, 

Each gazing friend unwearied stands : — 

Save too, as slow their boats return, 
The chiefs their parting signs renew, 

While, bendmg.o'er the vessel's stem, 
We waft our silent — ^last — " Adieu ! 


Now, springing firom the distant bills, 
The favouriug breeze more freshly blows ; 

And all the spreading ca&va^s fills, 
While fainter every prospect grows. 



The harbour dimly shews astern ; 

In mist the curling breakers fade ; — 
Nor aught can now the eye discern 

Without the glass's friendly aid. 

The path beside the watering-place. 

Where branching pines adorn the hill, 
The assisted eye can faintly trace. 

And mark its numerous windings still. 

Oft on that spot have hours been past, 

'Mid smiles that broken converse drew ; 
And oft we deem'd they fled too fast, 

When evening bade us say — Adieu ! 

There, too, the stone enclosure stands. 
Within whose high extensive walls 


The Pagan native lifts his hands. 
And on his wooden idol calls. 

Though Wisdom diere has never shed 

A ray, to chase the mental night ; — 
Though sacred teacher ne'er has spread. 

The faith diat springs from heavenly light ;-— 

Yet ye, who boast the Christian name, 

Blush at a deed that marks them well : — 
Thither they bore our sick and lame, 

And bade them in their temples dwell. 





In yonder grovels encircling shade, 
Where Time will long the truth, attest, — 

The last sad rites by strangers paid, — 
A youthful seaman's ashes rest. 

What though Oblivion o'er his name 
May spread her veil of deepest gloom, 

Full many a favourite child of Fame 
Would not disdain an equal tomb. 

Yet not alone the drooping frame, 

Or rites sepulchral, claim'd their care ; 

With Nature's gifts they daily came, 
And bade the ships their bounties share. 

While friendship thus was shewn to all, 
Congenial minds attach'd a few ; 

And Memory oft will pleased recall 

The names of " Madd'ra" and " Ge-roo." 

Farewell, dear Isle ! — on thee may ne'er 
The breath of civil discord blow ! 

Far from yoyr shores be every fear, 
And far — oh ! far — ^the invading foe ! 

To distant climes our course we bend. 
Where Fashion boasts her splendid reign ; 

Where Science, Fame, and Wealth attend, 
While Luxury revels in their train. 


Meanwhile, ne'er 'mid your smiling scenes 
May Pride and fierce Ambition spring ! 

Ne'er may they know what misery means, 
Which Vice and Dissipation bring ! 

Still on your plains may plenty shine ! 

Still may your happiness increase ! 
And Friendship long your hearts entwine 

With Love, with Innocence, and Peace ! 

No more ;— for now the freshening breeze 

Impels us swiftly o'er the deep : 
Your verdant shores no longer please. 

And faint appear your mountains steep. 

Their summits now are cloth'd in gray, 
And scarce the eye their place can tell ; 

And now they 're melted quite away,— 

Once more, dear island, Fare thee well! 




i ' 


Printed by W. CLOWES, NorthiunberUnd<ourt, Strand, London. 


3 9015 04257 2753